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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnSt Ht 101III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 101’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1209.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Sóttak fremð,         sóttak fund konungs,
        sóttak ítran jarl,
þás ek reist,         þás ek renna gat,
        kaldan straum kili,
        kaldan sæ kili.

Sóttak fremð, sóttak fund konungs, sóttak ítran jarl, þás ek reist kaldan straum kili, þás ek gat renna kaldan sæ kili.
‘I sought advancement, I sought a meeting with the king, I sought the noble jarl when I furrowed the cold current with the keel, when I made the keel run across the cold sea.

notes and context

This ljóðaháttr variant is called galdralag ‘incantations’ metre’ (heading in right margin in scribal hand), and its distinguishing features are verbal repetition and an additional full line with internal alliteration.

It is not clear whether the journey Snorri refers to here is his voyage to Norway in 1218 or an anticipated visit when he would recite the poem at the Norwegian court (see Notes to sts 81/8 and 85/6). — This ljóðaháttr variant is usually found in eddic poetry, but the verbal repetition that characterises the metre also features in stanzas with a supernatural or prophetic content composed in other metres (see, e.g. SnH Lv 6/8-9II and Anon (HSig) 7-8II).


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: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 101: AII, 77, BII, 88, Skald II, 48; SnE 1848-87, I, 714-17, III, 135, SnE 1879-81, I, 16, 85, II, 34, SnE 1931, 252, SnE 2007, 39; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 67-8.


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