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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 1VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 932-3.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa
12

Drottinn ‘Lord’

dróttinn (noun m.; °dróttins, dat. dróttni (drottini [$1049$]); dróttnar): lord, master

kennings

Dýrr drottinn dæmistóls,
‘Glorious Lord of the judgement seat, ’
   = God

Glorious Lord of the judgement seat, → God

notes

[1] drottinn ‘Lord’: The quantity of <o> in C14th poetry varies from poem to poem and within poems. Here it is given as short [o], except where internal rhyme requires a long vowel, e.g. 2/6.

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gief ‘grant’

gefa (verb): give

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dýrr ‘Glorious’

dýrr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -str/-astr): precious

kennings

Dýrr drottinn dæmistóls,
‘Glorious Lord of the judgement seat, ’
   = God

Glorious Lord of the judgement seat, → God
Close

dæmi ‘of the judgement’

dœmi (noun n.; °-s; -): judgement, example < dœmistóll (noun m.): judgement seat

kennings

Dýrr drottinn dæmistóls,
‘Glorious Lord of the judgement seat, ’
   = God

Glorious Lord of the judgement seat, → God
Close

stóls ‘seat’

1. stóll (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): seat, throne < dœmistóll (noun m.): judgement seat

kennings

Dýrr drottinn dæmistóls,
‘Glorious Lord of the judgement seat, ’
   = God

Glorious Lord of the judgement seat, → God
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sæma ‘honour’

sœma (verb): honour

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alhreinasta ‘very purest’

alhreinn (adj.): [very purest]

[3] alhreinasta: at hreinasta all

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af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

notes

[4] af húsi mærðar ‘from the house of encomium [MOUTH]’: This kenning has been construed here as ‘mouth’, but it could equally well be ‘breast’.

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mærðar ‘of encomium’

mærð (noun f.): praise

kennings

húsi mærðar.
‘the house of encomium. ’
   = MOUTH

the house of encomium. → MOUTH

notes

[4] af húsi mærðar ‘from the house of encomium [MOUTH]’: This kenning has been construed here as ‘mouth’, but it could equally well be ‘breast’.

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húsi ‘the house’

hús (noun n.; °-s; -): house

kennings

húsi mærðar.
‘the house of encomium. ’
   = MOUTH

the house of encomium. → MOUTH

notes

[4] af húsi mærðar ‘from the house of encomium [MOUTH]’: This kenning has been construed here as ‘mouth’, but it could equally well be ‘breast’.

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næst ‘After’

næst (adv.): next

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beiði ‘ask’

beiða (verb; °-dd-): ask, request

[5] beiði *: beiði eg all

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* ‘’

(non-lexical)

[5] beiði *: beiði eg all

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milda ‘the gentle’

mildr (adj.; °compar. -ri/-ari, superl. -astr): mild, gentle, gracious, generous

kennings

milda móður frægs þeingils mána
‘the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon ’
   = Mary

the famous king of the moon → God
the gentle mother of GOD → Mary
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móður ‘mother’

móðir (noun f.): mother

kennings

milda móður frægs þeingils mána
‘the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon ’
   = Mary

the famous king of the moon → God
the gentle mother of GOD → Mary
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mána ‘of the moon’

máni (noun m.; °-a): moon

kennings

milda móður frægs þeingils mána
‘the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon ’
   = Mary

the famous king of the moon → God
the gentle mother of GOD → Mary
Close

mána ‘of the moon’

máni (noun m.; °-a): moon

kennings

milda móður frægs þeingils mána
‘the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon ’
   = Mary

the famous king of the moon → God
the gentle mother of GOD → Mary
Close

þeingils ‘king’

þengill (noun m.): prince, ruler

kennings

milda móður frægs þeingils mána
‘the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon ’
   = Mary

the famous king of the moon → God
the gentle mother of GOD → Mary
Close

þeingils ‘king’

þengill (noun m.): prince, ruler

kennings

milda móður frægs þeingils mána
‘the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon ’
   = Mary

the famous king of the moon → God
the gentle mother of GOD → Mary
Close

frægs ‘of the famous’

frægr (adj.; °-jan/-an; compar. -ri, superl. -jastr/-astr/-str): famous, renowned

kennings

milda móður frægs þeingils mána
‘the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon ’
   = Mary

the famous king of the moon → God
the gentle mother of GOD → Mary
Close

frægs ‘of the famous’

frægr (adj.; °-jan/-an; compar. -ri, superl. -jastr/-astr/-str): famous, renowned

kennings

milda móður frægs þeingils mána
‘the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon ’
   = Mary

the famous king of the moon → God
the gentle mother of GOD → Mary
Close

eingla ‘angels’

1. engill (noun m.; °engils; englar): angel

[6] eingla: eingils all

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mýkja ‘make it easier’

mýkja (verb): [make it easier]

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arfa ‘heir’

arfi (noun m.; °-a; -ar): heir, heiress

notes

[8] arfa Halls ‘heir of Hallur’: The poet names himself here via his patronym, and towards the poem’s end gives his personal name Kálfr ‘calf’ in both Icel. and Lat. (49/1, 51/3). In 51/1-4 he arguably repeats his patronym, concealing it in word play. See Note ad loc. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends arfa Halls to orða hall ‘the hall of words [TONGUE]’ and considers it the object of mýkja (which can also mean ‘soften’); accordingly, he translates the phrase as follows: ‘that they will soften my tongue, so that it does not become stiff’. Kock (NN §1774; Skald) emends arfa Halls to örvar háls ‘arrows of the throat [WORDS]’. In view of the careful self-naming of sts 49 and 51, however, neither of these emendations carry conviction.

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Halls ‘of Hallur’

4. Hallr (noun m.): Hallr

notes

[8] arfa Halls ‘heir of Hallur’: The poet names himself here via his patronym, and towards the poem’s end gives his personal name Kálfr ‘calf’ in both Icel. and Lat. (49/1, 51/3). In 51/1-4 he arguably repeats his patronym, concealing it in word play. See Note ad loc. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends arfa Halls to orða hall ‘the hall of words [TONGUE]’ and considers it the object of mýkja (which can also mean ‘soften’); accordingly, he translates the phrase as follows: ‘that they will soften my tongue, so that it does not become stiff’. Kock (NN §1774; Skald) emends arfa Halls to örvar háls ‘arrows of the throat [WORDS]’. In view of the careful self-naming of sts 49 and 51, however, neither of these emendations carry conviction.

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stirðni ‘becomes difficult’

stirðna (verb): [becomes difficult]

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valla ‘hardly’

varla (adv.): hardly

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

This st., with sts 2 and 3, form a conventional opening to a religious drápa, in which the poet calls upon Christ, the Virgin Mary and a host of other sacred beings for help in praising S. Catherine.

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