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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mhkv 22III

Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 22’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1236.

Anonymous PoemsMálsháttakvæði

text and translation

Grandvarr skyldi inn góði maðr;
Gizurr varð at rógi saðr;
etja vildi jǫfrum saman;
ekki er mér at stúru gaman.
Kunna vildak sjá við snǫrum;
sjaldan, hykk, at gyggvi vǫrum;
vel hefr hinn, er sitr of sitt;
svartflekkótt er kvæði mitt.

Inn góði maðr skyldi grandvarr; Gizurr varð saðr at rógi; vildi etja jǫfrum saman; ekki er mér gaman at stúru. Vildak kunna sjá við snǫrum; hykk, at gyggvi sjaldan vǫrum; vel hefr hinn, er sitr of sitt; svartflekkótt er kvæði mitt.
‘The good man should be circumspect; Gizurr <= Óðinn> proved true in slander; he wanted to incite kings against each other; I have no delight in gloom. I would like to be able to avoid snares; I think the wary man is seldom startled; he comes off well who tends his own; black-flecked is my poem.

notes and context

[3]: On Óðinn’s self-described role as whetter, using the same formula as here, see Hárb 24/3 (NK 82): atta ec iǫfrom ‘I incited the chieftains’. See also RvHbreiðm Hl 45/8. — [6]: Cf. Hávm 6/6 (NK 18): sialdan verðr víti vorom ‘seldom does woe befall the wary’.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 22: AII, 135, BII, 143, Skald II, 77; Möbius 1874, 10, Wisén 1886-9, I, 75-6.


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