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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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StarkSt Vík 29VIII (Gautr 37)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Gautreks saga 37 (Starkaðr gamli Stórvirksson, Víkarsbálkr 29)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 280.

Starkaðr gamli StórvirkssonVíkarsbálkr

text and translation

Þaðan vappaðak         viltar brautir,
Hörðum leiðr,         með huga illan,
hringa vanr         ok hróðrkvæða,
dróttinlauss,         dapr alls hugar.

Þaðan vappaðak viltar brautir, leiðr Hörðum, með illan huga, vanr hringa ok hróðrkvæða, dróttinlauss, dapr alls hugar.
‘From there I wandered bewildering ways, hateful to the Hǫrðar, with a dark mind, lacking in rings and poems of praise, lordless, depressed in my whole mind.

notes and context

As for Vík 26.

Lines 3, 5 and 7 are in kviðuháttr metre, the rest in fornyrðislag (but see Note to l. 1 below). — Starkaðr’s self-depiction as a social outcast, depressed and lacking the most valuable benefits of a courtly life, especially material wealth, the opportunity to compose poetry and the company of a lord, is strongly reminiscent of similar self-presentation in the Old English poems Deor, ll. 35-41 and (without the poetry theme) The Wanderer ll. 20-9.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 13. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gautrekssaga II 21: AII, 328, BII, 348, Skald II, 187; FSN 3, 35-6, Gautr 1900, 32, FSGJ 4, 32; Edd. Min. 43.


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