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By Margaret Clunies Ross

A historical past of previous Norse Poetry and Poetics is the 1st booklet in English to house the dual topics of previous Norse poetry and some of the vernacular treatises on local poetry that have been the sort of conspicuous function of medieval highbrow lifestyles in Iceland and the Orkneys from the mid-twelfth to the fourteenth centuries. Its objective is to offer a transparent description of the wealthy poetic culture of early Scandinavia, quite in Iceland, the place it reached its zenith, and to illustrate the social contexts that favoured poetic composition, from the oral societies of the early Viking Age in Norway and its colonies to the religious compositions of literate Christian clerics in fourteenth-century Iceland. the 2 dominant poetic modes, eddic and skaldic, are analysed, and their numerous types and matters are illustrated with newly selected examples. The ebook units out the prose contexts within which most elderly Norse poetry has been preserved and discusses difficulties of interpretation that come up end result of the poetry's mode of transmission. during the ebook, the writer hyperlinks indigenous concept with perform, starting with the pre-Christian ideology of poets as favoured via the god ? lodge and concluding with the Christian idea simple type most sensible conveys the poet's message.

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900 with a descriptive title attested by Snorri is Haustlõng (‘Autumn Long’). Presumably its composer, Ãjóñólfr of Hvinir, took a whole autumn season to perfect it. Einarr Helgason skálaglamm (‘scales tinkle’), a poet active in the late tenth century, composed a poem called Vellekla (‘Lack of Gold’), for Earl Hákon Sigurñarson. This title is very likely to have been an indirect reference to the skald’s feeling that Hákon had not rewarded him handsomely enough for his poetry. Technical terms for skaldic poem types and parts of poems In terms of the manner in which they have been transmitted to posterity, and presumably in terms of medieval conventions also, a subject to be discussed in Chapter 4, all skaldic poetry can be divided into extended poems and single verses, that is, freestanding usually occasional verses, which modern scholars term lausavísur (‘separate verses’).

These stylistic developments are addressed in Chapters 6 and 10. 24 introduction hendingar in italics. Kenning referents are enclosed in square brackets in the translation. 1. Dróttkvætt helmingr attributed by Snorri Sturluson in Skáldskaparmál to the eleventh-century Icelandic skald Hallvarñr Háreksblesi, probably from a poem, Knútsdrápa (‘Poem with Refrain about Knútr’) in honour of the Danish king Knútr (Old English Cnut, Modern English Canute) on the occasion of his expedition to England in 1016.

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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