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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÚlfrU Húsdr 1III

Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Úlfr Uggason, Húsdrápa 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. 405.

Úlfr UggasonHúsdrápa
12

Hjaldr ‘of the noise’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle < hjaldrgegnir (noun m.)

[1] Hjaldrgegnis: so U, hoddmildum all others

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM

notes

[1] Hildar hjaldrgegnis ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn]’: On kennings referring to Óðinn as an instigator of battle, see Meissner 253. This expression could also be a warrior kenning used for Óðinn, however; cf. sigrunni ‘victory-tree’ used as an Óðinn-kenning (see st. 10/1 and Note there).

Close

Hjaldr ‘of the noise’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle < hjaldrgegnir (noun m.)

[1] Hjaldrgegnis: so U, hoddmildum all others

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM

notes

[1] Hildar hjaldrgegnis ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn]’: On kennings referring to Óðinn as an instigator of battle, see Meissner 253. This expression could also be a warrior kenning used for Óðinn, however; cf. sigrunni ‘victory-tree’ used as an Óðinn-kenning (see st. 10/1 and Note there).

Close

Hjaldr ‘of the noise’

1. hjaldr (noun m.): battle < hjaldrgegnir (noun m.)

[1] Hjaldrgegnis: so U, hoddmildum all others

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM

notes

[1] Hildar hjaldrgegnis ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn]’: On kennings referring to Óðinn as an instigator of battle, see Meissner 253. This expression could also be a warrior kenning used for Óðinn, however; cf. sigrunni ‘victory-tree’ used as an Óðinn-kenning (see st. 10/1 and Note there).

Close

gegnis ‘of the promoter’

2. gegnir (noun m.): [promoter] < hjaldrgegnir (noun m.)

[1] Hjaldrgegnis: so U, hoddmildum all others

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM

notes

[1] Hildar hjaldrgegnis ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn]’: On kennings referring to Óðinn as an instigator of battle, see Meissner 253. This expression could also be a warrior kenning used for Óðinn, however; cf. sigrunni ‘victory-tree’ used as an Óðinn-kenning (see st. 10/1 and Note there).

Close

gegnis ‘of the promoter’

2. gegnir (noun m.): [promoter] < hjaldrgegnir (noun m.)

[1] Hjaldrgegnis: so U, hoddmildum all others

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM

notes

[1] Hildar hjaldrgegnis ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn]’: On kennings referring to Óðinn as an instigator of battle, see Meissner 253. This expression could also be a warrior kenning used for Óðinn, however; cf. sigrunni ‘victory-tree’ used as an Óðinn-kenning (see st. 10/1 and Note there).

Close

telk ‘I recite’

telja (verb): tell, count

[1] telk (‘tel ek’): so U, tér all others

notes

[1] telk ‘I recite’: All earlier eds adopt ték ‘I present, I show’, emended from tér (so mss R, , W, B). Ms. U offers the semantically more appealing telk (see LP: telja 3), also considered by Faulkes (SnE 1998, I, 163), which does not require emendation. Kreutzer’s material (1977, 149-50, 153) shows also that a skald is more likely to use telja than tjá when introducing poetic recitation.

Close

Hildar ‘of Hildr’

2. Hildr (noun f.): Hildr

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM

notes

[1] Hildar hjaldrgegnis ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn]’: On kennings referring to Óðinn as an instigator of battle, see Meissner 253. This expression could also be a warrior kenning used for Óðinn, however; cf. sigrunni ‘victory-tree’ used as an Óðinn-kenning (see st. 10/1 and Note there).

Close

Hildar ‘of Hildr’

2. Hildr (noun f.): Hildr

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM

notes

[1] Hildar hjaldrgegnis ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn]’: On kennings referring to Óðinn as an instigator of battle, see Meissner 253. This expression could also be a warrior kenning used for Óðinn, however; cf. sigrunni ‘victory-tree’ used as an Óðinn-kenning (see st. 10/1 and Note there).

Close

Hildar ‘of Hildr’

2. Hildr (noun f.): Hildr

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM

notes

[1] Hildar hjaldrgegnis ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘noise-promoter of Hildr’) BATTLE > = Óðinn]’: On kennings referring to Óðinn as an instigator of battle, see Meissner 253. This expression could also be a warrior kenning used for Óðinn, however; cf. sigrunni ‘victory-tree’ used as an Óðinn-kenning (see st. 10/1 and Note there).

Close

hug ‘for the glad’

hugr (noun m.): mind, thought, courage < hugreifr (adj.): glad-hearted

[2] hug‑: her‑ U

notes

[2] hugreifum ‘glad-hearted’: The variant herreifum lit. ‘troop-happy’ (U) is also possible.

Close

reifum ‘hearted’

2. reifr (adj.): happy < hugreifr (adj.): glad-hearted

notes

[2] hugreifum ‘glad-hearted’: The variant herreifum lit. ‘troop-happy’ (U) is also possible.

Close

Ôleifi ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

Close

hann ‘him’

hann (pron.; °gen. hans, dat. honum; f. hon, gen. hennar, acc. hana): he, she, it, they, them...

notes

[3, 4] vilk kveðja hann at gjǫf Grímnis ‘I want to summon him to the gift of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: This is a special formula for an invitation to listen to the poem which occurs in several opening stanzas, e.g. in Steinn Frag 1/2 (for other examples see Note there).

Close

vilk ‘I want to’

vilja (verb): want, intend

[3] vilk (‘vil ec’): ‘vi ek’ W

notes

[3, 4] vilk kveðja hann at gjǫf Grímnis ‘I want to summon him to the gift of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: This is a special formula for an invitation to listen to the poem which occurs in several opening stanzas, e.g. in Steinn Frag 1/2 (for other examples see Note there).

Close

at ‘to’

3. at (prep.): at, to

notes

[3, 4] vilk kveðja hann at gjǫf Grímnis ‘I want to summon him to the gift of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: This is a special formula for an invitation to listen to the poem which occurs in several opening stanzas, e.g. in Steinn Frag 1/2 (for other examples see Note there).

Close

gjǫf ‘the gift’

gjǫf (noun f.): gift

kennings

gjǫf Grímnis.
‘the gift of Grímnir. ’
   = POEM

the gift of Grímnir. → POEM

notes

[3, 4] vilk kveðja hann at gjǫf Grímnis ‘I want to summon him to the gift of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: This is a special formula for an invitation to listen to the poem which occurs in several opening stanzas, e.g. in Steinn Frag 1/2 (for other examples see Note there).

Close

Grímnis ‘of Grímnir’

Grímnir (noun m.): Grimnir

[3] Grímnis: ‘[…]nis’ U

kennings

gjǫf Grímnis.
‘the gift of Grímnir. ’
   = POEM

the gift of Grímnir. → POEM

notes

[3] Grímnis ‘of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: On this name for the god, see Note to Þul Óðins 1/7. — [3, 4] vilk kveðja hann at gjǫf Grímnis ‘I want to summon him to the gift of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: This is a special formula for an invitation to listen to the poem which occurs in several opening stanzas, e.g. in Steinn Frag 1/2 (for other examples see Note there).

Close

Grímnis ‘of Grímnir’

Grímnir (noun m.): Grimnir

[3] Grímnis: ‘[…]nis’ U

kennings

gjǫf Grímnis.
‘the gift of Grímnir. ’
   = POEM

the gift of Grímnir. → POEM

notes

[3] Grímnis ‘of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: On this name for the god, see Note to Þul Óðins 1/7. — [3, 4] vilk kveðja hann at gjǫf Grímnis ‘I want to summon him to the gift of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: This is a special formula for an invitation to listen to the poem which occurs in several opening stanzas, e.g. in Steinn Frag 1/2 (for other examples see Note there).

Close

geð ‘of the mind’

geð (noun n.): mind < geðfjǫrðr (noun m.)

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEMgeðfjarðar
‘of the mind-fjord ’
   = BREAST

the mind-fjord → BREAST

notes

[4] geðfjarðar ‘of the mind-fjord [BREAST]’: Unlike the other mss, R has ‘geðniarþar’ here. In an attempt to retain the R reading, Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 285) construes the following poetry-kenning: geð-Njarðar hildar ‘liquid of battle-Njǫrðr’s mind (i.e. breast)’. However, literally this kenning translates as ‘the liquid of the mind-Njǫrðr of battle’; to be comprehensible the kenning would need to be rearranged as geð(s) Njarðar hildar, which results in an unacceptable word order, because the cpd geð-Njarðar ‘mind-Njǫrðr’ is split and geð- exchanged for the gen. hildar ‘of the battle’. Wisén (1886-9, 19-20) argues that geðfjǫrðr cannot be a kenning for ‘breast’ because base-words in kennings construed according to this pattern always denote a country or a landscape; hence he emends to geðjarðar ‘of the mind-earth’. Fjǫrðr can denote both the watery area of a fjord and the surrounding areas, however (cf. Firðir ‘Fjordane’, a district in Norway).

Close

geð ‘of the mind’

geð (noun n.): mind < geðfjǫrðr (noun m.)

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEMgeðfjarðar
‘of the mind-fjord ’
   = BREAST

the mind-fjord → BREAST

notes

[4] geðfjarðar ‘of the mind-fjord [BREAST]’: Unlike the other mss, R has ‘geðniarþar’ here. In an attempt to retain the R reading, Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 285) construes the following poetry-kenning: geð-Njarðar hildar ‘liquid of battle-Njǫrðr’s mind (i.e. breast)’. However, literally this kenning translates as ‘the liquid of the mind-Njǫrðr of battle’; to be comprehensible the kenning would need to be rearranged as geð(s) Njarðar hildar, which results in an unacceptable word order, because the cpd geð-Njarðar ‘mind-Njǫrðr’ is split and geð- exchanged for the gen. hildar ‘of the battle’. Wisén (1886-9, 19-20) argues that geðfjǫrðr cannot be a kenning for ‘breast’ because base-words in kennings construed according to this pattern always denote a country or a landscape; hence he emends to geðjarðar ‘of the mind-earth’. Fjǫrðr can denote both the watery area of a fjord and the surrounding areas, however (cf. Firðir ‘Fjordane’, a district in Norway).

Close

fjarðar ‘fjord’

fjǫrðr (noun m.): fjord < geðfjǫrðr (noun m.)

[4] ‑fjarðar: so all others, ‑njarðar R

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEMgeðfjarðar
‘of the mind-fjord ’
   = BREAST

the mind-fjord → BREAST

notes

[4] geðfjarðar ‘of the mind-fjord [BREAST]’: Unlike the other mss, R has ‘geðniarþar’ here. In an attempt to retain the R reading, Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 285) construes the following poetry-kenning: geð-Njarðar hildar ‘liquid of battle-Njǫrðr’s mind (i.e. breast)’. However, literally this kenning translates as ‘the liquid of the mind-Njǫrðr of battle’; to be comprehensible the kenning would need to be rearranged as geð(s) Njarðar hildar, which results in an unacceptable word order, because the cpd geð-Njarðar ‘mind-Njǫrðr’ is split and geð- exchanged for the gen. hildar ‘of the battle’. Wisén (1886-9, 19-20) argues that geðfjǫrðr cannot be a kenning for ‘breast’ because base-words in kennings construed according to this pattern always denote a country or a landscape; hence he emends to geðjarðar ‘of the mind-earth’. Fjǫrðr can denote both the watery area of a fjord and the surrounding areas, however (cf. Firðir ‘Fjordane’, a district in Norway).

Close

fjarðar ‘fjord’

fjǫrðr (noun m.): fjord < geðfjǫrðr (noun m.)

[4] ‑fjarðar: so all others, ‑njarðar R

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEMgeðfjarðar
‘of the mind-fjord ’
   = BREAST

the mind-fjord → BREAST

notes

[4] geðfjarðar ‘of the mind-fjord [BREAST]’: Unlike the other mss, R has ‘geðniarþar’ here. In an attempt to retain the R reading, Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 285) construes the following poetry-kenning: geð-Njarðar hildar ‘liquid of battle-Njǫrðr’s mind (i.e. breast)’. However, literally this kenning translates as ‘the liquid of the mind-Njǫrðr of battle’; to be comprehensible the kenning would need to be rearranged as geð(s) Njarðar hildar, which results in an unacceptable word order, because the cpd geð-Njarðar ‘mind-Njǫrðr’ is split and geð- exchanged for the gen. hildar ‘of the battle’. Wisén (1886-9, 19-20) argues that geðfjǫrðr cannot be a kenning for ‘breast’ because base-words in kennings construed according to this pattern always denote a country or a landscape; hence he emends to geðjarðar ‘of the mind-earth’. Fjǫrðr can denote both the watery area of a fjord and the surrounding areas, however (cf. Firðir ‘Fjordane’, a district in Norway).

Close

‘the water’

1. lá (noun f.; °; -r): surf

kennings

lô geðfjarðar Hildar hjaldrgegnis;
‘noise-promoter of Hildr’
   = POEM

the noise of Hildr → BATTLE
the promoter of the BATTLE → Óðinn
the water of the mind-fjord of ÓÐINN → POEM
Close

kveðja ‘summon ’

2. kveðja (verb): say, greet

notes

[3, 4] vilk kveðja hann at gjǫf Grímnis ‘I want to summon him to the gift of Grímnir <= Óðinn>’: This is a special formula for an invitation to listen to the poem which occurs in several opening stanzas, e.g. in Steinn Frag 1/2 (for other examples see Note there).

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

The helmingr is cited in Skm (SnE) among other stanzas illustrating kennings for ‘poetry’.

Mss R, , W and B give a version of the first line (Hoddmildum tér Hildar) that does not generate a poem-kenning, because lô geðfjarðar ‘water of the mind-fjord [BREAST]’ needs a term for Óðinn as determinant, and only hildar ‘of battle’ or ‘of Hildr’ is available. Such a poem-kenning would follow the pattern of Egill Hfl 1/2, 3V (Eg 34) marr munstrandar Viðris ‘sea of the mind-beach [BREAST] of Viðrir <= Óðinn> [POEM]’. Ms. U provides the necessary Óðinn-kenning, hjaldrgegnis Hildar ‘of the promoter of the noise of Hildr <valkyrie> [BATTLE > = Óðinn]’, and the U version has therefore been adopted in the present edn (so also Skj B and Skald). SnE 1998 follows R, but this results in an unacceptable word order (see Note to l. 4 geðfjarðar below). — This stanza has all the characteristics of an opening stanza of a drápa presented to a ruler (cf. Eskál Vell 1I). It addresses the one to be honoured by name, uses a special formula for the invitation to listen to the poem (see Note to ll. 3, 4) and contains one extended poem-kenning as well as another. The theme of the mead of poetry is taken up again in sts 9 and 12.

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