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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 54VIII (Ǫrv 124)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 124 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 54)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 931.

Ǫrvar-OddrÆvidrápa
535455

Þat var fyrri,         at ek fat senda
orð inum nyrztum         niðjum mínum.
Varð ek svá feginn         fundi þeira
sem hungraðr         haukr bráðum.

Þat var fyrri, at ek fat senda inum niðjum nyrztum orð mínum. Ek varð svá feginn fundi þeira sem hungraðr haukr bráðum.

It happened previously that I sent word to my most northerly kinsmen. I was as joyful at meeting them as a famished hawk at [finding] raw flesh.

Mss: 343a(81r), 471(95v), 173ˣ(64ra) (Ǫrv)

Readings: [2] fat: fór 471, fór at 173ˣ    [3-4] ok öllum þeim | orð hin mestu | niðjum mínum | á norðrvega 471, öllum orð | niðjum mínum 173ˣ    [5] Varð: var 471    [8] bráðum: eptir bráðum 173ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 315-16, Skj BII, 335, Skald II, 180; Ǫrv 1888, 205, FSGJ 2, 356-7.

Notes: [All]: There now follow ten stanzas that are only in the younger mss; 343a is used as main ms. for these. — [All]: There is considerable textual variation between the mss of this stanza, and that of 471 is expanded to ten rather than eight lines by creating four lines out of ll. 3-4. The stanza’s subject matter relates to the reunion between Oddr and his kinsmen Sigurðr and Guðmundr who had gone north to Hrafnista while he had been engaged in viking expeditions further south. According to the prose text, this reunion occurs before Oddr and his kinsmen sail to Southern Europe (Ǫrv 1888, 112-13), so before the events described in Ǫrv 52 and 53. The adv. fyrri ‘previously’ in l. 1 may indicate the composer’s awareness of this chronology. Ms. 471 reverses the order of Ǫrv 53 and 54, suggesting the copyist or a predecessor understood the correct sequence of events.  — [3-4]: Ms. 471 creates four lines where the other two mss have two, reading (as prose order) ok orð hin mestu öllum þeim niðjum mínum á norðrvega ‘and [sent] the strongest [lit. greatest] words to all my kinsmen in the northern regions’. — [3] nyrztum ‘most northerly’: Skj B, Skald, FSGJ and this edn prefer the variant nyrztum (cf. ANG §441), but 343a’s nýztum is accepted by Boer (Ǫrv 1888, 205). — [5-8]: These lines are remarkably similar to HHund II 43/1-4 (NK 159), which read: Nú em ec svá fegin | fundi ocrom | sem átfrekir | Óðins haukar ‘Now I am as glad at our meeting as the food-greedy hawks of Óðinn’. The adj. feginn ‘glad’ is also found in other poems of the Poetic Edda as well as in romance literature (cf. Kommentar IV, 783). It seems very likely that the composer of Ǫrv 124 adapted the helmingr from HHund II 43, which is addressed by the valkyrie Sigrún to her lover Helgi, to the subject of Oddr’s meeting with his kinsmen. — [7-8] sem hungraðr haukr ‘as a famished hawk’: All eds except FSGJ emend the sg. adj. and noun of the mss to the pl. hungraðir haukar ‘famished hawks’ to give metrical lines, but the same effect can be achieved by normalising both words to a C14th standard so that both show desyllabification of ‑r to ‑ur. Haukur is already desyllabified in 343a. The problem with emending to the pl. noun and adj. is that the comparison between Oddr’s joy at seeing his relatives and a hawk finding fresh meat seems to require a sg. comparator in both cases. As these lines are only in the younger mss, there is no chronological impediment to presuming late composition; the use of a simile is unusual and possibly indicative of late composition also or of direct borrowing from another poem (see Note to ll. 5-8 above).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  5. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  6. Kommentar = von See, Klaus et al. 1997-. Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda. 6 vols (continuing). Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  8. Ǫrv 1888 = Boer, R. C., ed. 1888. Ǫrvar-Odds saga. Leiden: Brill.
  9. Internal references
  10. Not published: do not cite ()
  11. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 124 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 54)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 931.
  12. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 52 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 19)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 866.
  13. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 53 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 20)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 867.
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