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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 1II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, 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. 576-7.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

text and translation

Tafl emk ǫrr at efla;
íþróttir kannk níu;
týnik trauðla rúnum;
tíðs mér bók ok smíðir.
Skríða kannk á skíðum;
skýtk ok rœk, svát nýtir;
hvártveggja kannk hyggja:
harpslôtt ok bragþôttu.

Emk ǫrr at efla tafl; kannk níu íþróttir; týnik rúnum trauðla; tíðs mér bók ok smíðir. Kannk skríða á skíðum; skýtk ok rœk, svát nýtir; kannk hyggja hvártveggja: harpslôtt ok bragþôttu.
‘I am quick at playing board games; I have nine skills; I forget runes slowly; the book is a preoccupation with me and also craftsmanship. I am able to glide on skis; I shoot and I row so that it makes a difference; I am able to understand both: harp-playing and poems.

notes and context

Although Kali (later Rǫgnvaldr) Kolsson is mentioned briefly in ch. 42 of Orkn (ÍF 34, 102), he is properly described in ch. 58 and said to have been atgørvimaðr meiri en velflestir menn aðrir ‘a person proficient at more things than almost all others’ (ÍF 34, 130).

[5]: The ability to ski identifies Rǫgnvaldr as Norw. (Jesch 2005, 130-1). — [5-8]: This helmingr is identical to the second helmingr of Hharð Gamv 4. In that st., the poet boasts of eight accomplishments, five of which are the same as Rǫgnvaldr’s (skiing, shooting, rowing and the appreciation of both harp-playing and poetry). Haraldr makes no mention of board games, runes or craftsmanship, but mentions poetry twice, once as the act of composing it and once as the ability to comprehend (and appreciate) it.



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: Rǫgnvaldr jarl kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 1: AI, 505, BI, 478, Skald I, 235, NN §2203; Flat 1860-8, II, 440, Orkn 1887, 95, Orkn 1913-16, 139, ÍF 34, 130 (ch. 58), Bibire 1988, 226.


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