New PDF release: A History of Old Norse Poetry and Poetics

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By Margaret Clunies Ros

This is often the 1st publication in English to house the dual matters of previous Norse poetry and a number of the vernacular treatises on local poetry that have been a conspicuous characteristic of medieval highbrow lifestyles in Iceland and the Orkneys from the mid-twelfth to the fourteenth centuries.

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Additional resources for A History of Old Norse Poetry and Poetics

Sample text

3. 960 (not an attested medieval title). 1350), where it is written on folio 99v after the text of Egils saga. 1250 in the manuscripts W and A, and lines 5–8 of stanza 17 are also found in two manuscripts of Snorri’s Edda (R and W), in a section of Skáldskaparmál discussing kennings for the god Freyr. The 26 introduction poem is an encomium for a personal friend, stressing his generosity and loyalty to the poet, Egill. 26 Prose word order. Ãat gefsk at undri allsheri hvé hann gnœgir urãjóñ auñi, en Freyr ok Njõrñr hefr of gœddan Grjótbjõrn at fjárafli.

Stríñr indeed inspired other poetry and seems to have been a remarkable woman (see Jesch 1994–7). After her husband Óláfr’s death she was exiled to Sweden but nevertheless acted to support the political career and claim to the Norwegian throne of her stepson Magnús. Sighvatr Ãórñarson composed a poem praising her, the deeply strategic woman (djúprôñ kona), for acting as if Magnús were her own son, and urged Magnús himself to acknowledge her magnanimous generosity appropriately (see Skj BI: 231–2).

The stef with which he ornamented his drápa was certainly a model of contemporary political correctness, comparing Íslendingadrápa. Eilífr Goñrúnarson’s Ãórsdrápa may have had a stef if a single helmingr cited separately in Skáldskaparmál (Faulkes 1998 I: 15, verse 44; Skj BI: 144, st. 21) belongs to the drápa (see the verse usually numbered 10, Skj BI: 141). 14 The shield is referred to by the kenning máni reiñar Ræs (‘moon of the chariot of Rær’); Rær is the name of a sea-king, whose ‘chariot’ is a ship, and the shield is the ship’s ‘moon’, an allusion to the appearance of round, probably painted, shields in rows along the gunwales of Viking Age ships.

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