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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Oddi Lv 1II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 614-16.

Oddi inn litli GlúmssonLausavísur
12

Oddi’s lvv. (Oddi Lv 1-5) are transmitted in Orkn. All are in Flat and in R702ˣ and its copy 762ˣ. Additionally, the second helmingar of Lv 1 and Lv 2 are in the fragmentary ms. of the saga, 325I. None of the mss is clearly superior to the others and a separate choice of main ms. has been made for each st. Ms. 325I is taken as the main ms. for Lv 2, R702ˣ for Lv 1 and Flat for Lv 3. See also Introduction to Lv 4-5.

Stendr ok hyggr at hǫggva
herðilútr með sverði
bandalfr beiði-Rindi
Baldrs við dyrr á tjaldi.
Firum mun hann með hjǫrvi
hættr; nús mál, at sættisk
hlœðendr hleypiskíða
hlunns, áðr geigr sé unninn.

{{{Baldrs beiði-Rindi} band}alfr} stendr herðilútr við dyrr á tjaldi ok hyggr at hǫggva með sverði. Hann mun hættr firum með hjǫrvi; nús mál, at {hlœðendr {hleypiskíða hlunns}} sættisk, áðr geigr sé unninn.

{The elf {of the belt {of the begging-Rindr <giantess> of Baldr <god>}}} [(lit. ‘belt-elf of the begging-Rindr of Baldr’) = Frigg (ey ‘island’) > SEA (marr ‘sword’) > WARRIOR] stands bent-shouldered by the door on the tapestry and intends to strike with his sword. He will be dangerous to men with his sword; now it is time {for the loaders {of the leaping skis of the roller}} [SHIPS > SEAFARERS] to be reconciled, before an injury is inflicted.

Mss: R702ˣ(45r), 325I(11r) (ll. 4-8), Flat(139va) (Orkn)

Readings: [3] beiði‑: beiðir Flat    [4] Baldrs: ‘ldr’ 325I, Baldr Flat    [5] Firum: fyrr Flat;    mun: so 325I, man R702ˣ, muna Flat;    með: om. 325I    [6] hættr: hætt Flat;    sættisk: sættask 325I, Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 529, Skj BI, 509, Skald I, 250, NN §2086; Flat 1860-8, II, 475, Orkn 1887, 154, Orkn 1913-16, 223, ÍF 34, 203 (ch. 85), Bibire 1988, 231.

Context: At Christmas time, Rǫgnvaldr jarl challenged Oddi to compose a st. about one of his wall-hangings, at the same time as, and without using any of the words in, Rǫgnvaldr’s own st. (Rv Lv 13) on the same subject.

Notes: [All]: See also Rv Lv 13. Quite how this simultaneous composition would have worked is not made clear; Orkn (ÍF 34, 202-3) introduces Lv 1 with Oddi kvað ‘Oddi said’ immediately after citing Rv Lv 13. — [3] -Rindi ‘-Rindr <giantess>’: Poole (2006, 150) objects that Rindi ‘can hardly be genitive-case or a combinative form’, but it is in fact a regular dat. form (ÍF 34, 203; ANG §384), here a dat. of respect. For the use of such datives with pieces of clothing (here ‘belt’) see NS §100 Anm. Kock (NN §2086) also feels the need to emend Rindi to Rindar (gen.) to arrive at a similar kenning. — [3-4] bandalfr beiði-Rindi Baldrs ‘the elf of the belt of the begging-Rindr <giantess> of Baldr <god> [(lit. ‘belt-elf of the begging-Rindr of Baldr’) = Frigg (ey ‘island’) > SEA (marr ‘sword’) > WARRIOR]’: The reading here follows that of Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 203) and Bibire (1988, 231). The warrior-kenning uses ofljóst ‘too transparent’: Frigg, the goddess who begged for the release of Baldr from Hel, is also an island-name (Þul Eyja 4/3III); the ‘belt’ of an island is the sea (marr) which is also a ‘sword’ (Þul Sverða 3/5III), and the ‘elf’ of the sword is the warrior. Poole (2006, 150-2) has the same reading but a very different interpretation, based on his supposition that the scene depicted on the tapestry is from the story of Starkaðr. His interpretation is not adopted here on the grounds that it ignores the clear parallelism in the st. between this kenning and the extended kenning hlœðendr hleypiskíða hlunns ‘the loaders of the leaping skis of the roller’ in ll. 7-8 (although that admittedly does not make use of ofljóst). Poole contends (2006, 151-2) that Baldrs beiði-Rindi is a woman-kenning, using an allusion to Baldr in Anon Bjark 6III to argue that the kenning refers to a woman associated with the Dan. royal dynasty. Poole (2006, 151-2) also maintains that ‘the verse envisages the striking of a woman, additional to whatever male-to-male confrontation and aggression we see described in Rǫgnvaldr’s stanza’, although there is also clear evidence of ‘male-to-male ... aggression’ in l. 5 of this st. It is indeed assumed here that the two sts represent two different interpretations of what the poets saw on the wall-hanging, but that this difference is not quite as radical as that suggested by Poole. See further the Notes to Rv Lv 13. — [4] Baldrs ‘of Baldr <god>’: The eleventh leaf of 325I begins in the middle of this word. — [4] við dyrr á tjaldi ‘by the door on the tapestry’: Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 202-3) suggests that tjald, here and in Rv Lv 13, means ‘wall’, by means of a complex pun, and that the figure is depicted as standing on a wall with a door in it. As Poole points out (2006, 149), it is simpler to read tjald as ‘wall-hanging’. This wall-hanging then presumably depicted an armed man standing by a doorway. See also Notes to Rv Lv 13.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  5. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  6. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  7. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  8. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Bibire, Paul. 1988. ‘The Poetry of Earl Rǫgnvaldr’s Court’. In Crawford 1988, 208-40.
  10. Poole, Russell. 2006. ‘Some Southern Perspectives on Starcatherus’. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 2, 141-66.
  11. Orkn 1887 = Gudbrand Vigfusson 1887-94, I.
  12. Internal references
  13. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Bjarkamál in fornu 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 503.
  14. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  15. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Eyja heiti 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 977.
  16. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Sverða heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 794.
  17. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 614-16.
  18. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 13’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 590-1.
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