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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Leiðarvísan (Leið) - 45

not in Skj

Leiðarvísan (‘Way-Guidance’) — Anon LeiðVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Leiðarvísan’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 137-78.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [2]. Leiðarvísan, et digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 618-26, BI, 622-33)

SkP info: VII, 143

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Anon Leið 3VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 143.

Fǫður biðk ok son síðan
slétt óðarlag rétta;
minn styrki vel verka
vandan heilagr andi.
Ór munu aldar stýri
óþægilig frægjum
orð, nema mér til mærðar
málsgnótt fái dróttinn.

Síðan biðk fǫður ok son rétta slétt óðarlag; heilagr andi styrki vel vandan verka minn. Orð ór munu óþægilig {frægjum stýri aldar}, nema dróttinn fái mér málsgnótt til mærðar.

Then I ask the Father and Son to straighten out a smooth poem form; may the Holy Spirit strengthen my awkward work well. Our [my] words will be displeasing {to the famous steerer of men} [= God], unless the Lord gives me an abundance of language for the praise-poem.

Mss: B(10r), 624(85)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 3: AI, 619, BI, 623, Skald I, 303, NN §3137; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 57-8, Rydberg 1907, 4, Attwood 1996a, 60, 171.

Notes: [4] vandan ‘awkward’: Finnur Jónsson translates vanskelige ‘difficult, awkward’, but Kock (NN §3137) objects to the interpretation of this term as pejorative, on the grounds that the poet speaks positively of his creation elsewhere (see, for example, 4/2, 43/7, 44). He suggests the meaning ‘wearisome, exhausting’ for vandan. That the poet does find his work wearisome is clear from 44/1-4, but Finnur’s interpretation is preferable here, as it seems to capture the parallelism between the slétt óðarlag ‘smooth poem-form’ that the Father and Son are asked to create in l. 2 and the vandan verk ‘awkward work’ for which the Holy Spirit is asked for help in the second cl. — [8] málsgnótt ‘abundance of language’: This cpd is hap. leg., but is obviously on the same model as orðgnótt ‘word-abundance’ (1/8, 2/6, 4/8; Geisl 10/2). This kind of variation supports the parallelism of theme and diction between the second helmingar of the first four sts.

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