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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Nkt 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Poems, Nóregs konungatal 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 763.

Anonymous PoemsNóregs konungatal

text and translation

Róa skal fyrst
fjarri reyði,
* koma þó niðr
nær, áðr lúki.
Þar hefk hugt
hróðri þessum
orðum þeim
eptir at mynda.

Skal fyrst róa fjarri reyði, * koma þó niðr nær, áðr lúki. Þar hefk hugt at mynda eptir þeim orðum þessum hróðri.
‘One must first row far from the whale, yet come down close before it is finished. Now I have thought to imitate those words with this praise.

notes and context

[1-4]: ‘One must first row far from the whale, yet come down close before it is finished’, i.e. if one wants to catch a whale, one must approach it from afar. This saying, with which the poet draws an analogy between hunting a whale and composing a long genealogical poem, refers to his intention to begin Jón’s panegyric by tracing his ancestry back to Haraldr hárfagri. His praise of the family of the Oddaverjar (people from the farmstead Oddi, southern Iceland), i.e. his homing in on the whale, begins at st. 67. — [7-8] eptir þeim orðum ‘those words’: Lit. ‘after those words’. I.e. the saying contained in ll. 1-4.



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 XII], [2]. Nóregs konunga-tal 2: AI, 579, BI, 575, Skald I, 278, NN §2119 Anm.; Flat 1860-8, II, 520.


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