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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sneglu-Halli (SnH)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 11

Skj info: Sneglu- [Grautar-] Halli, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 388-90, BI, 358-60).

Skj poems:
1. Et digt om Harald hårdråde (?)
2. Lausavísur

Sneglu-Halli (SnH) came from a poor family from Fljót near Svarfaðardalur in northern Iceland. The meaning of his nickname (Sneglu-) is unclear, but it could have referred to his slender stature (Flat 1860-8, III, 416; Finnur Jónsson 1907, 297) or to his irascibility (Andersson and Gade 2000, 442). In later literature he was given the nickname Grautar-Halli ‘Porridge-Halli’ because of his fondness for porridge (ÍF 9, cxii n. 1; ÞjóðA Lv 7). Around 1053 Halli arrived at King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson’s court in Norway, and after a trip to Denmark and England he returned to Iceland, where he must have died prior to 1066. According to Flat, King Haraldr received the news of Halli’s death with the following comment (ÍF 9, 295): Á grauti myndi greyit sprungit hafa ‘The bitch must have burst with porridge’. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists Halli as a court poet of Haraldr harðráði, and he is said to have composed a poem in his honour (ÍF 9, 275, 280). A half-st. in fornyrðislag metre (SnH FragIII) attributed to Halli in TGT (TGT 1884, 20, 80) has been assigned to that poem by some eds. See Introduction, SnH FragIII. Otherwise, only the lvv. below have been preserved of his poetic oeuvre, which is also said to have included Kolluvísur ‘the Cow’s Vísur’, a poem composed about cows in Iceland, and a panegyric to an Engl. earl (see SnE 1848-87, III, 599-604; LH 1894-1901, I, 635-7). In H, Hr and Mork, ÞjóðA Lv 8 is erroneously attributed to Halli (see Mork 1928-32, 238; Fms 6, 364).

Lausavísur — SnH LvII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sneglu-Halli, 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. 323-32.

 1   2   3   5   6   7   8   9   10   11 

cross-references:  4 = Hharð Lv 9II 

Skj: Sneglu- [Grautar-] Halli: 2. Lausavísur, o. 1054 (AI, 388-90, BI, 358-60)

SkP info: II, 325

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — SnH Lv 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sneglu-Halli, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 325.

Hirðik eigi,        hvat Haraldr klappar;
lætk gnauða grǫn;        gengk fullr at sofa.

Hirðik eigi, hvat Haraldr klappar; lætk grǫn gnauða; gengk fullr at sofa.

I do not care how Haraldr knocks; I let my mouth crunch; I go full to sleep.

Mss: Flat(207rb) (Flat); 593b(30v), 563aˣ(11)

Readings: [1] eigi: ei all    [2] Haraldr: hinn 563aˣ    [3] gnauða: so 593b, 563aˣ, ‘gnvada’ Flat

Editions: Skj: Sneglu- [Grautar-] Halli, 2. Lausavísur 2: AI, 388, BI, 358, Skald I, 179, NN §3232; ÍF 9, 271 (Snegl ch. 4), Flat 1860-8, III, 418 (Snegl).

Context: King Haraldr has finished eating, and he knocks on the table with his knife and tells the servants to clear away the dishes. Halli takes a piece of food from his plate and recites this ditty.

Notes: [All]: It is not specified that to continue eating after the king had finished his meal was in violation of courtly custom, but Konungs skuggsjá (Holm-Olsen 1983, 58), indicates that this could have been the case: En þat spillir eigi siðum þinum at þú nœytir matar þins / væl. oc skiott æptir þinni nauðsyn oc sva drykkia yfir borðum ‘And that does not spoil your conduct if you enjoy your food well and quickly according to your needs, and so also your drink at the table’. — [All]: The metre is fornyrðislag. — [2] hvat ‘how’: For the present translation of hvat, see Fritzner: hvat 6. Skj B translates hvat as at ‘that’, a meaning that is unattested. Kock (NN §3232) suggests the translation ‘why’, which is, however, mostly used with direct questions (Fritzner: hvat 7).

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