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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ormr Woman 1III

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Ormr Steinþórsson, Poem about a woman 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. 325.

Ormr SteinþórssonPoem about a woman

text and translation

Seggir þurfut ala ugg
— engu snýk í Viðurs feng
háði; kunnum hróðrsmíð
haga — of minn brag.

Seggir þurfut ala ugg of brag minn; snýk engu háði í {feng Viðurs}; kunnum haga hróðrsmíð.
‘Men need not harbour anxiety about my poem; I incorporate no satire in the theft of Viðurr <= Óðinn> [POEM]; we [I] know how to fashion a work of praise.

notes and context

In Skm (SnE) the stanza is used to illustrate kennings for ‘poetry’.

While any satire might be cause of apprehension for an audience, the poet may be particularly thinking of specifically Norse traditions of satire (níð), namely satire directed against kings and other rulers, to which was attributed ‘biting’, i.e. physically injurious, powers (see especially Þjsk JarlI), or against a woman’s male protector, normally her husband. The latter type of satire is the more obviously relevant to Ormr’s subject matter. — [3-4]: For a similar expression, also in hálfhnept, of the poet’s confidence in his skill, see Ótt Óldr 1/3-4I.



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: Ormr Steinþórsson, 1. Af et digt om en kvinde (?) 2: AI, 415, BI, 385, Skald I, 191; SnE 1848-87, I, 250-1, II, 307, 522, III, 14, SnE 1931, 94, SnE 1998, I, 14.


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