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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 114VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 114’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 428.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Föður ok móður        gremz eigi fróðhugaðr
        orðum ok ávítum;
reiðr er þér betri,        sá er rækja vill,
        en hinn, sem er hrekkvíss í hugum.

Gremz eigi fróðhugaðr orðum ok ávítum föður ok móður; sá er vill rækja, er betri þér reiðr, en hinn, sem er hrekkvíss í hugum.
‘Do not, wise-minded, become angry at the words and reprimands of your father and mother; he who is willing to look after you is better for you angry, than the one who is mischievous in his thoughts.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 6) Verbera cum tuleris discens aliquando magistri, / fer patris imperium, cum verbis exit in iram ‘Just as you bear blows now and again from the teacher when learning, accept your father’s authority when he breaks out in anger in words’. — [2-3]: All mss have made different attempts to make sense of this l. Ávítum is unmetrical in its position, probably an indication of an early corruption in transmission, and all mss share this reading. 1199ˣ’s and 720a IV’s reynztu fróðhugaðr | eigi með ávítum ‘try to be wise-minded ... not with reprimands’ makes little sense. 624 has vertu fróðhugaðr | ok öngum ávítum reiðr ‘be wise-minded ... and not angry because of any reprimands’, but the punctuation of the other mss and the alliteration make it clear that reiðr belongs to l. 4. 723aˣ’s reading is adopted here, but it leaves the unmetrical ending on l. 3. Hallgrímur Scheving has for l. 3 er með ávítum aga ‘when they chastise you with reprimands’, which is both metrically correct and makes sense.



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], [C. E/5]. Hugsvinnsmál 112: AII, 190, BII, 204, Skald II, 107; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 27, Gering 1907, 31, Tuvestrand 1977, 134, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 108.


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