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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Forað Lv 6VIII (Ket 27)

Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2017, ‘Ketils saga hœngs 27 (Forað, Lausavísur 6)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 579.

ForaðLausavísur
56

Flaug ok Fífu         hugða ek fjarri vera,
        ok hræðumz ek ei Hremsu bit.

Ek hugða Flaug ok Fífu vera fjarri, ok hræðumz ek ei bit Hremsu.

I thought Flaug and Fífa were far away, and I do not fear Hremsa’s bite.

Mss: 343a(56v), 471(54r) (Ket)

Readings: [2] hugða: hygg 471;    ek: ek þér 471    [3] ok: om. 471

Editions: Skj AII, 284, Skj BII, 305, Skald II, 162, NN §2391FSN 2, 130, FSGJ 2, 172, Anderson 1990, 54, 100; Edd. Min. 82.

Context: Forað replies to Ketill’s reference to his weapons in the previous stanza by saying that she thought his arrows were far away. The stanza is introduced with the words: Hún kveðr vísu ‘She speaks a stanza’. Ketill shoots an arrow and wounds her fatally, although she has attempted to escape by assuming the shape of a whale and diving into the sea.

Notes: [1, 3] Flaug ok Fífu; Hremsu ‘Flaug and Fífa; Hremsa’: These, the names of Gusi(r)’s three arrows, mean ‘Flight’ (Flaug), ‘Shaft’ (Hremsa) and/or are heiti for ‘arrow’; they appear in a list of arrow-heiti, Þul Ǫrvar 1/4, 6III and 2/2III; smiði Gusis ‘Gusir’s artefacts’ also occurs in the same þula at 2/4III. The noun flaug is also used as a verbal noun referring to the flight of weapons (LP: 1. flaug), whilst Fífa ‘Arrow’ is recorded as the name of a ship in Rv Lv 8/4II. The word fífa is also found as a plant-name (Eriophorum ‘wool grass’; Heizmann 1993, 19, 43), and the use of this word as a designation for ‘arrow’ is thought to derive from the ‘feathers’ on the shaft (cf. Falk 1914b, 99; AEW, ÍO: fífa). Hremsa is used in the pl. as a common noun for ‘arrows’ ÞjóðA Sex 15/3II, and in the same stanza (15/8) the arrow-kenning gjǫld Finna ‘the tribute of the Saami’ appears, suggesting a deliberate allusion to the Gusisnautar (see Note to ÞjóðA Sex 15/8II). Similar arrow-kennings are nautar Gusis ‘Gusir’s gifts’ Refr Ferðv 5/4III and gjǫld Finns ‘the tribute of the Saami (sg.)’ Hskv Útdr 10/3II. These kennings from skalds of the C11th and C12th show that there must have been a story about Gusi(r) and his arrows, but we cannot know whether Ketill played any part in it. Falk (1914b, 99) interprets hremsa as a noun meaning ‘claw’ and adduces the verb hremsa = hremma ‘clutch’ (cf. AEW: hremsa; ÍO: 1 hremmsa; Fritzner: hremma, hremsa). — [2] ek hugða ‘I thought’: Since the verb hræðumz (m. v.) in l. 3 is a pres. form Kock (NN §2391) prefers the reading hyg (= hygg), the 1st pers. pres. sg. of hyggja found in 471, given as hykk in Skald, to the pret. form hugða (so 343a; cf. CPB II, 558). Ms. 340ˣ gives the pret. form in both cases (cf. the text adopted in Edd. Min. and FSN). — [3] ok hræðumz ek ei Hremsu bit ‘and I do not fear Hremsa’s bite’: Some previous eds (Finnur Jónsson, Kock, Edd. Min.) improve this line to reduce the number of syllables: they substitute hræðumkat ‘I do not fear’ or hræddumkat ‘I do not fear’, a verb form (m. v.) with the enclitic negative particle ‑at, for hræðumz ek ei. Guðni Jónsson (FSGJ) and Rafn (FSN) retain ek but change the negative particle to eigi.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. FSN = Rafn, Carl Christian, ed. 1829-30. Fornaldar sögur nordrlanda. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  8. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  9. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  10. Falk, Hjalmar. 1914b. Altnordische Waffenkunde. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter, II. Hist.-filos. kl. 1914, 6. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  11. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  12. Edd. Min. = Heusler, Andreas and Wilhelm Ranisch, eds. 1903. Eddica Minora: Dichtungen eddischer Art aus den Fornaldarsögur und anderen Prosawerken. Dortmund: Ruhfus. Rpt. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
  13. Heizmann, Wilhelm. 1993. Wörterbuch der Pflanzennamen im Altwestnordischen. Ergänzungsbände zum RGA 7. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  14. Anderson, Sarah M. 1990. ‘The Textual Transmission of Two Fornaldarsögur: Ketils saga høings and Gríms saga loðinkinna’. Ph.D. thesis. Cornell University…
  15. Internal references
  16. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Ǫrvar heiti 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. 818.
  17. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, Ferðavísur 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 248.
  18. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Halldórr skvaldri, Útfarardrápa 10’ 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. 491.
  19. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 8’ 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. 585.
  20. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 15’ 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, pp. 127-8.
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