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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

III. Málsháttakvæði (Mhkv) - 30

not in Skj

5: Málsháttakvæði (‘Proverb poem’) — Anon MhkvIII

Roberta Frank 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Málsháttakvæði’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1213. <> (accessed 27 September 2021)

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði, Et orknøsk(?) digt, omkr. 1200. (AII, 130-6, BII, 138-45)

SkP info: III, 1243

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

30 — Anon Mhkv 30III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 30’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1243.

Stjórnlausu hefk slungit saman,
svá vildak …

Hefk slungit saman stjórnlausu, svá vildak …

I have thrown together something rudderless, thus I wished …

Mss: R(55r)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 30: AII, 136, BII, 145, Skald II, 78; Möbius 1874, 12, Wisén 1886-9, I, 76.

Notes: [All]: The poem ends here, at the bottom of fol. 55r, with six and a half lines of the final stanza missing. — [1] stjórnlausu ‘something rudderless’: The adj. stjǫrnlauss occurs in Hávm 90/8, where the love of false women is likened to steering a rudderless craft in a wild wind. In the present clause, stjǫrnlausu (n. dat. sg.) is used substantivelly as the object of slyngva ‘throw’ which takes the dat. — [1] slungit ‘thrown’: P. p. of slyngva ‘cast, twist’. ESk Geisl 45/3VII acknowledges the assistance of an informant, Eindriði ungi ‘the Young’, who slǫng ‘flung’ the story into the poem (see Note to ESk Geisl 45/3VII). Skj B translates the line with a suitably mixed metaphor: noget uden ror (styrelse; ordning) har jeg her slynget (vævet) sammen ‘something without rudder (management; organisation) have I here thrown (woven) together’.  — [2]: Skj B completes the line with mér hitta gaman ‘to find pleasure for myself’. Finnur, in inserting gaman as the last word of the line (rhyming with saman), may have been inspired by the earlier saman : gaman pairings in the poem (sts 1/5-6, 5/1-2 and 22/3-4). If his completion of the line is correct, the ending of Mhkv would recall that of Svart Skauf 42VIII: Hefir bálk þennan | og barngælur | sett og samið | Svartr á Hofstöðum | mier til gamans | en meinþurðar | meingi ófróðu; | mun eg nú þagnaSvartr á Hofstöðum has composed and put together this poem and nursery rhyme for the pleasure of myself and [for] the entertainment of an ignorant multitude; now I shall be silent’.

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