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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Oddi inn litli Glúmsson (Oddi)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Judith Jesch;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 5

Skj info: Oddi lítli Glúmsson, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 529-30, BI, 509-10).

Skj poems:

Oddi inn litli ‘the Small’ Glúmsson (Oddi) is only known from Orkn. He is said to have been one of two Icelanders (the other is Ármóðr (Árm)) who came to the court of Rǫgnvaldr jarl in Orkney one autumn. While Ármóðr is described as a skáld, of Oddi it is said that he orti enn vel ‘was also good at composing’ (ÍF 34, 200-1). Oddi is then said to have been one of the skáld jarls ‘skalds of the jarl’ who accompanied Rǫgnvaldr on his journey to the Holy Land (ÍF 34, 204). When Oddi is introduced, the main saga ms. (Flat) says that he was hjaltlenzkr ‘from Shetland’ but all eds have preferred the reading of two other mss, which say that he was an Icelander and which add that he was from Breiðafjörður (Orkn 1913-16, 221 and n. 1). His patronymic may suggest he was descended from Glúmr Geirason (GlúmrI), in whose family there were many poets (ÍF 34, 201 nn. 1-2).

Lausavísur — Oddi LvII

Judith Jesch 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur’ 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. 614-19.

 1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Oddi lítli Glúmsson: Lausavísur (AI, 529-30, BI, 509-10)

SkP info: II, 614-16

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Oddi Lv 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 1’ 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. 614-16.

Oddi’s lvv. (Oddi Lv 1-5) are transmitted in Orkn. All are in Flat and in R702ˣ and its copy 762ˣ. Additionally, the second helmingar of Lv 1 and Lv 2 are in the fragmentary ms. of the saga, 325I. None of the mss is clearly superior to the others and a separate choice of main ms. has been made for each st. Ms. 325I is taken as the main ms. for Lv 2, R702ˣ for Lv 1 and Flat for Lv 3. See also Introduction to Lv 4-5.

Stendr ok hyggr at hǫggva
herðilútr með sverði
bandalfr beiði-Rindi
Baldrs við dyrr á tjaldi.
Firum mun hann með hjǫrvi
hættr; nús mál, at sættisk
hlœðendr hleypiskíða
hlunns, áðr geigr sé unninn.

{{{Baldrs beiði-Rindi} band}alfr} stendr herðilútr við dyrr á tjaldi ok hyggr at hǫggva með sverði. Hann mun hættr firum með hjǫrvi; nús mál, at {hlœðendr {hleypiskíða hlunns}} sættisk, áðr geigr sé unninn.

{The elf {of the belt {of the begging-Rindr <giantess> of Baldr <god>}}} [(lit. ‘belt-elf of the begging-Rindr of Baldr’) = Frigg (ey ‘island’) > SEA (marr ‘sword’) > WARRIOR] stands bent-shouldered by the door on the tapestry and intends to strike with his sword. He will be dangerous to men with his sword; now it is time {for the loaders {of the leaping skis of the roller}} [SHIPS > SEAFARERS] to be reconciled, before an injury is inflicted.

Mss: R702ˣ(45r), 325I(11r) (ll. 4-8), Flat(139va) (Orkn)

Readings: [3] beiði‑: beiðir Flat    [4] Baldrs: ‘ldr’ 325I, Baldr Flat    [5] Firum: fyrr Flat;    mun: so 325I, man R702ˣ, muna Flat;    með: om. 325I    [6] hættr: hætt Flat;    sættisk: sættask 325I, Flat

Editions: Skj: Oddi lítli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 1: AI, 529, BI, 509, Skald I, 250, NN §2086; Flat 1860-8, II, 475, Orkn 1887, 154, Orkn 1913-16, 223, ÍF 34, 203 (ch. 85), Bibire 1988, 231.

Context: At Christmas time, Rǫgnvaldr jarl challenged Oddi to compose a st. about one of his wall-hangings, at the same time as, and without using any of the words in, Rǫgnvaldr’s own st. (Rv Lv 13) on the same subject.

Notes: [All]: See also Rv Lv 13. Quite how this simultaneous composition would have worked is not made clear; Orkn (ÍF 34, 202-3) introduces Lv 1 with Oddi kvað ‘Oddi said’ immediately after citing Rv Lv 13. — [3] -Rindi ‘-Rindr <giantess>’: Poole (2006, 150) objects that Rindi ‘can hardly be genitive-case or a combinative form’, but it is in fact a regular dat. form (ÍF 34, 203; ANG §384), here a dat. of respect. For the use of such datives with pieces of clothing (here ‘belt’) see NS §100 Anm. Kock (NN §2086) also feels the need to emend Rindi to Rindar (gen.) to arrive at a similar kenning. — [3-4] bandalfr beiði-Rindi Baldrs ‘the elf of the belt of the begging-Rindr <giantess> of Baldr <god> [(lit. ‘belt-elf of the begging-Rindr of Baldr’) = Frigg (ey ‘island’) > SEA (marr ‘sword’) > WARRIOR]’: The reading here follows that of Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 203) and Bibire (1988, 231). The warrior-kenning uses ofljóst ‘too transparent’: Frigg, the goddess who begged for the release of Baldr from Hel, is also an island-name (Þul Eyja 4/3III); the ‘belt’ of an island is the sea (marr) which is also a ‘sword’ (Þul Sverða 3/5III), and the ‘elf’ of the sword is the warrior. Poole (2006, 150-2) has the same reading but a very different interpretation, based on his supposition that the scene depicted on the tapestry is from the story of Starkaðr. His interpretation is not adopted here on the grounds that it ignores the clear parallelism in the st. between this kenning and the extended kenning hlœðendr hleypiskíða hlunns ‘the loaders of the leaping skis of the roller’ in ll. 7-8 (although that admittedly does not make use of ofljóst). Poole contends (2006, 151-2) that Baldrs beiði-Rindi is a woman-kenning, using an allusion to Baldr in Anon Bjark 6III to argue that the kenning refers to a woman associated with the Dan. royal dynasty. Poole (2006, 151-2) also maintains that ‘the verse envisages the striking of a woman, additional to whatever male-to-male confrontation and aggression we see described in Rǫgnvaldr’s stanza’, although there is also clear evidence of ‘male-to-male ... aggression’ in l. 5 of this st. It is indeed assumed here that the two sts represent two different interpretations of what the poets saw on the wall-hanging, but that this difference is not quite as radical as that suggested by Poole. See further the Notes to Rv Lv 13. — [4] Baldrs ‘of Baldr <god>’: The eleventh leaf of 325I begins in the middle of this word. — [4] við dyrr á tjaldi ‘by the door on the tapestry’: Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 202-3) suggests that tjald, here and in Rv Lv 13, means ‘wall’, by means of a complex pun, and that the figure is depicted as standing on a wall with a door in it. As Poole points out (2006, 149), it is simpler to read tjald as ‘wall-hanging’. This wall-hanging then presumably depicted an armed man standing by a doorway. See also Notes to Rv Lv 13.

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