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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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EBrún Lv 1III

Katharina Seidel (ed.) 2017, ‘Eyjólfr Brúnason, Lausavísa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 182.

Eyjólfr BrúnasonLausavísa1

text and translation

Kaupir árr — né eyri
allrífum skal hlífa —
orðrakkr ilja snekkjur
austrœnar sér flausta.

{Orðrakkr árr flausta} kaupir sér {austrœnar snekkjur ilja}; né skal hlífa allrífum eyri.
‘The word-bold messenger of ships [SEAFARER] buys himself eastern warships of footsoles [SHOES]; one must not spare abundant money.

notes and context

This stanza is cited in LaufE to illustrate a foot-kenning in the section Fót má kenna ‘Foot can be called’.

The helmingr appears to be an ironic comment on the purchase of expensive Norwegian shoes (see Note to l. 4 below) by someone who travels by sea and is rather well off. If one accepts the idea that Eyjólfr was an economically poor friend of Snorri Sturluson, Eyjólfr could have composed a stanza, of which only this helmingr has survived, in response to a lausavísa by Snorri (SnSt Lv 6; see Biography of Eyjólfr Brúnason above). This is suggested not only by the ironic content, but also by the use of a seafarer-kenning (qualified by the adj. orðrakkr ‘word-bold’, i.e. ‘eloquent’) and the allusion to the use of money (Snorri’s wealth and extravagance are well documented; see also Máni Lv 4IV and Anon (Stu) 19IV).



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: Eyjólfr Brúnason, Lausavísa: AII, 82, BII, 93, Skald II, 50; LaufE 1979, 270, 345 n.


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