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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 1VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 141-2.

Anonymous PoemsLeiðarvísan
12

Þinn óð sem ek inni
allskjótt, salar fjalla,
harðla brátt til hróðrar,
harri, munn ok varrar.
Mér gefi dǫglingr dýra
dœmistóls ok sólar,
enn svát ek mega, sanna
orðgnótt, lofa dróttin.

Ek sem inni þinn óð, munn ok varrar, allskjótt, harðla brátt til hróðrar, {harri {salar fjalla}}. {Dǫglingr dœmistóls ok sólar} gefi mér dýra, sanna orðgnótt, svát ek mega enn lofa dróttin.

I arrange your poem inwardly, [and] my mouth and lips very quickly, very briskly for praise, {lord {of the hall of the mountains}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]. May {the king of the judgement-seat and of the sun} [= God] give me precious, true word-abundance, so that I may again praise the Lord.

Mss: B(10r), 624(85)

Readings: [1] Þinn: so 624, ‘[...]inn’ B

Editions: Skj AI, 618, Skj BI, 622, Skald I, 302, NN §§1257, 1258, 2991D; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 57, Rydberg 1907, 4, Attwood 1996a 60, 171.

Notes: [All]: Sts 1-5 constitute an appeal to God and the other members of the Trinity to help the poet compose his poem, represented as a praise-poem (hróðr, mærðr). Each st. marks a stage in the poet’s progression towards the realisation of his goal. In st. 1 he has barely begun to prepare his mind and the organs of speech for a quick composition; in st. 2 he asks God to give him plenty of words and predicts that his speech-organs will be stirred into action; in st. 3 he begs the Father and Son to straighten out the poem’s form, while asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen the work. St. 4 sees the poet more confident in his abundance of words, and ready to recite his poem before a human audience, while in st. 5 he asks his audience for a formal hearing and announces his subject: advice about Sunday. — [1] Þinn: In B, the beginnings of 10r, 39 and 10r, 40 are indented by some 9mm, to allow space for a larger initial to mark the beginning of the poem, which has not been supplied. All previous eds and transcribers have reconstructed this letter as <Þ>. — [1] sem ek inni ‘I arrange inwardly’: Skj B, followed by Skald, treats both sem and inni as 1st pers. sg. pres. indic. verbs, adding the enclitic pronouns. This requires emendation of ek to ok and inni to innik. They thus read semk ok innik. Finnur Jónsson takes munn ok varrar (l. 4) as the object of semja ‘to arrange, compose’, and þinn óð (l. 1) as the object of inna ‘to perform, relate, tell, achieve’. He construes innik þinn óð … ok semk munn ok varrar ‘I produce your poem ... and arrange [my] mouth and lips’. Kock (NN §1257) argues that this is an example of zeugma, with óð ‘poem’ the object of both verbs and munn ok varrar harðla brátt til hróðrar ‘mouth and lips very eager to praise’ the object of semk. Attwood 1996a retains the ms. reading by treating sem as a conj. meaning ‘just as, as well as’ and ek inni þinn óð ‘I compose your poem’ and sem munn ok varrar ‘just as [I compose my] mouth and lips’ as parallel clauses, with óð and munn ok varrar as the objects of inna in the sense ‘to compose’. The problem with this reading is that inna does not mean ‘to compose’ (as semja does) but ‘to perform, relate’ and thus does not suit both postulated objects. The only other way to keep the ms. reading (and the one adopted here) is to consider sem ek the verb with two objects and regard inni as the adv. ‘inside, indoors’, usually used in a concrete sense, but here meaning ‘inwardly, in my breast’, where poetry resided according to skaldic convention (cf. Meissner, 134-6). Another example of inni used in a metaphorical sense is in Gamlkan Has 7/5. — [2] salar fjalla ‘hall of the mountains [SKY/HEAVEN]’: A common kenning for the sky or heavens; cf. GunnlI Lv 8/2V, Hallv Knútdr 8/2III and Has 30/2. — [6] dǫglingr dœmistóls ‘king of the judgement-seat [= God]’: This kenning also occurs in Kálf Kátr 47/5-6. Cf. also drottinn dæmistóls ‘lord of the judgement-seat’ in Kálf Kátr 1/1-2 and 21/1-2. — [7] enn ‘again’: This adv. suggests that the poet has composed poetry in praise of God before; cf. Anon Mgr 2/8 and Anon Vitn 2/7. — [7] sanna ‘true’: Skj B, followed by Skald, emends to sannan, m. acc. sg. to agree with dróttin ‘lord’ (l. 8). The ms. reading is retained here by taking sanna as f. acc. sg., qualifying orðgnótt ‘word-abundance’, amplifying dýra ‘precious’.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  7. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  9. Internal references
  10. 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.
  11. Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 47’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 961.
  12. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Drápa af Máríugrát 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 760-1.
  13. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 741.
  14. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 30’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 99.
  15. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 78-80.
  16. Not published: do not cite (GunnlI Lv 8V (Gunnl 13))
  17. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallvarðr háreksblesi, Knútsdrápa 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 239.
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