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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 27I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 27’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 733.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur
262728

mestar ‘the greatest’

meiri (adj. comp.; °meiran; superl. mestr): more, most

[1] mestar skynjar: so Tóm, mest um skynja Flat, mest of skynja 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

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skynjar ‘knowledge’

skynja (verb): learn, understand

[1] mestar skynjar: so Tóm, mest um skynja Flat, mest of skynja 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

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mun ‘of the delightful’

munr (noun m.; °-ar/-s, dat. -/-i; -ir, acc. -i): mind, pleasure < munvágr (noun m.)

[2] mun‑: so Tóm, munn Flat, menn 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

kennings

munvágs Dáins,
‘of the delightful wave of Dáinn ’
   = POETRY

the delightful wave of Dáinn → POETRY

notes

[2] munvágs ‘of the delightful wave’: The cpd could also mean ‘soul-wave, mind-wave’ (so LP (1913-16), but cf. Meissner 60); or the Flat reading munn- , which could plausibly also underlie mun- and menn-, would give ‘mouth-wave’. The mss read vígs and vigrs for -vágs (the emendation first suggested in Nj 1875-8, II, 399), and Kock (NN §2295) takes them instead as corruptions of viggs (so, tentatively, Jón Skaptason 1983, 328), which, according to a þula (Þul Skipa 4III), may mean ‘ship’. But the normal meaning of vigg is ‘horse’ and poetry is called a dwarf’s ship rather than a dwarf’s horse (SnE 1998, I, 11). On poetry-kennings alluding to the myth of the mead of poetry, see Note to Eskál Vell 1 [All].

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vágs ‘wave’

vágr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): sea, wave < munvágr (noun m.)

[2] ‑vágs Dáins: ‘uígurs dáins’ Flat, ‘vígs daínns’ Tóm, Óláfs vígs 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

kennings

munvágs Dáins,
‘of the delightful wave of Dáinn ’
   = POETRY

the delightful wave of Dáinn → POETRY

notes

[2] munvágs ‘of the delightful wave’: The cpd could also mean ‘soul-wave, mind-wave’ (so LP (1913-16), but cf. Meissner 60); or the Flat reading munn- , which could plausibly also underlie mun- and menn-, would give ‘mouth-wave’. The mss read vígs and vigrs for -vágs (the emendation first suggested in Nj 1875-8, II, 399), and Kock (NN §2295) takes them instead as corruptions of viggs (so, tentatively, Jón Skaptason 1983, 328), which, according to a þula (Þul Skipa 4III), may mean ‘ship’. But the normal meaning of vigg is ‘horse’ and poetry is called a dwarf’s ship rather than a dwarf’s horse (SnE 1998, I, 11). On poetry-kennings alluding to the myth of the mead of poetry, see Note to Eskál Vell 1 [All].

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Dáins ‘of Dáinn’

Dáinn (noun m.): Dáinn, deceased one

[2] ‑vágs Dáins: ‘uígurs dáins’ Flat, ‘vígs daínns’ Tóm, Óláfs vígs 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

kennings

munvágs Dáins,
‘of the delightful wave of Dáinn ’
   = POETRY

the delightful wave of Dáinn → POETRY
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kunna ‘comprehend’

kunna (verb): know, can, be able

[2] kunna: kenna 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

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síðr ‘hardly’

2. síðr (adv.): less, hardly

[3] síðr at: síðr á Tóm, síð á 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

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at ‘in’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[3] síðr at: síðr á Tóm, síð á 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

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Sighvats ‘Sigvatr’

Sigvatr (noun m.): Sigvatr

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hróðri ‘the encomium’

hróðr (noun m.): encomium, praise

[3] hróðri: ‘hröðu’ 71ˣ

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svinns ‘of judicious’

2. svinnr (adj.): wise

[4] svinns: ‘suinzst’ Flat, ‘suínnz’ Tóm, sinn 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ

notes

[4] svinns ‘of judicious’: A minimal emendation, required to secure a gen. sg. adj. qualifying Sighvats ‘of Sigvatr’.

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Sik ‘himself’

sik (pron.; °gen. sín, dat. sér): (refl. pron.)

[5] Sik: ‘suk’ 73aˣ

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hverr ‘Every’

2. hverr (pron.): who, whom, each, every

kennings

Hverr haldorðr boði éls skjaldar,
‘Every word-holding announcer of the storm of the shield ’
   = WARRIOR

the storm of the shield → BATTLE
Every word-holding announcer of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
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es ‘who’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[5] es (‘er’): so Tóm, 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ, at Flat

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hnekkir ‘rejects’

hnekkja (verb): drive off, reject

[5] hnekkir: kvikir Tóm

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hald ‘word’

hald (noun n.; °-s; *-): support < haldorðr (adj.): [word-holding]

kennings

Hverr haldorðr boði éls skjaldar,
‘Every word-holding announcer of the storm of the shield ’
   = WARRIOR

the storm of the shield → BATTLE
Every word-holding announcer of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[6] haldorðr ‘word-holding’: The word can be used in a positive sense, ‘faithful’, i.e. ‘keeping one’s word’ (as in Hharð Lv 14/4II, Anon Krm 18/2VIII (Ragn)), or a negative one, ‘obstinate’, i.e. ‘holding stubbornly to one’s opinions’, as here: see LP: haldorðr.

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orðr ‘holding’

orð (noun n.; °-s; -): word < haldorðr (adj.): [word-holding]

kennings

Hverr haldorðr boði éls skjaldar,
‘Every word-holding announcer of the storm of the shield ’
   = WARRIOR

the storm of the shield → BATTLE
Every word-holding announcer of the BATTLE → WARRIOR

notes

[6] haldorðr ‘word-holding’: The word can be used in a positive sense, ‘faithful’, i.e. ‘keeping one’s word’ (as in Hharð Lv 14/4II, Anon Krm 18/2VIII (Ragn)), or a negative one, ‘obstinate’, i.e. ‘holding stubbornly to one’s opinions’, as here: see LP: haldorðr.

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boði ‘announcer’

boði (noun m.; °-a; -ar): messenger, breaker

kennings

Hverr haldorðr boði éls skjaldar,
‘Every word-holding announcer of the storm of the shield ’
   = WARRIOR

the storm of the shield → BATTLE
Every word-holding announcer of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
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skjaldar ‘of the shield’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield

[6] skjaldar: skorðar Tóm

kennings

Hverr haldorðr boði éls skjaldar,
‘Every word-holding announcer of the storm of the shield ’
   = WARRIOR

the storm of the shield → BATTLE
Every word-holding announcer of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

skjaldar ‘of the shield’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield

[6] skjaldar: skorðar Tóm

kennings

Hverr haldorðr boði éls skjaldar,
‘Every word-holding announcer of the storm of the shield ’
   = WARRIOR

the storm of the shield → BATTLE
Every word-holding announcer of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

éls ‘of the storm’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm

[7] éls: at Tóm

kennings

Hverr haldorðr boði éls skjaldar,
‘Every word-holding announcer of the storm of the shield ’
   = WARRIOR

the storm of the shield → BATTLE
Every word-holding announcer of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

éls ‘of the storm’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm

[7] éls: at Tóm

kennings

Hverr haldorðr boði éls skjaldar,
‘Every word-holding announcer of the storm of the shield ’
   = WARRIOR

the storm of the shield → BATTLE
Every word-holding announcer of the BATTLE → WARRIOR
Close

allir ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

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iflaust ‘doubtless’

iflauss (adj.): doubtless

[8] iflaust: í flaust 71ˣ

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gera ‘make’

1. gera (verb): do, make

[8] gera at: so Tóm, 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ, gerat Flat

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at ‘’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[8] gera at: so Tóm, 73aˣ, 71ˣ, 76aˣ, gerat Flat

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fifli ‘a fool’

fífl (noun n.): [a fool, giant]

notes

[8] fifli ‘a fool’: The aðalhending seems to indicate shortening in what is usually fífli; cf. skirr (Lv 23/4 and Note), and see Kock, NN §680.

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

Sigvatr travels incognito in Denmark because of King Knútr’s enmity to those who had been friends of King Óláfr. He stays at a farm where the people are discussing poetry, and they find fault with Sigvatr’s verses (not knowing he is present). He delivers this stanza, revealing his identity and necessitating a rapid escape.

The import of this vísa is that if critics find fault with Sigvatr’s poetry, it is because their knowledge of versecraft is faulty, and their criticisms only expose their ignorance. For a discussion of some unusual formal features of Sigvatr’s verse, see Finnur Jónsson LH I, 597-8.

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