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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar (Stúfr)

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

Stúfsdrápa (Stúfdr) - 8

Skj info: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 404-5, BI, 373-4).

Skj poems:
Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa

Stúfr inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Þórðarson kattar ‘of the Cat’ came from an illustrious family of Icel. poets. He was the great-grandson of the skald Glúmr Geirason (GlúmrI) and the grandson of Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir (see Laxdœla saga, ÍF 5, 87, 94, 281-90). He was also related to Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ (EskálI), Úlfr stallari ‘the Marshal’ Óspaksson (Úlfr) and Steinn Herdísarson (Steinn) (See Genealogy IV, ÍF 5). What we know about his life is detailed in two versions of Stúfs þáttr, which has been transmitted in a longer and a shorter version (see ÍF 5, xcii-xciv, 279-90). Stúfr was born c. 1025 and, as his nickname indicates, he must have been blind or had extremely poor vision (it could be, however, that his eyesight failed him in old age, contributing to his nickname; see ÍF 5, xciii). Around 1060 he travelled to Norway to claim an inheritance, and while he was there he met King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson. The following summer Stúfr visited the king in Trondheim, became his retainer and recited a poem which he had composed in Haraldr’s honour. He then apparently returned to Iceland, and nothing more is known about him (see also SnE 1848-87, III, 593-5; LH 1894-1901, I, 633-4). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists him among the court poets of Haraldr harðráði.

Stúfsdrápa — Stúfr StúfdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa’ 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. 350-8.

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Skj: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar: Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa, o. 1067 (AI, 404-5, BI, 373-4)

SkP info: II, 351

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Stúfr Stúfdr 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa 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, p. 351.

Vissak hildar hvessi
— hann vas nýztr at kanna —
af góðum byr Gríðar
gagnsælan mér fagna,
þás blóðstara bræðir
baugum grimmr at Haugi
gjarn með gylltu horni
gekk sjalfr á mik drekka.

Vissak {gagnsælan hvessi hildar} fagna mér af {góðum byr Gríðar}—hann vas nýztr at kanna—, þás {bræðir {blóðstara}}, grimmr baugum, gekk sjalfr gjarn drekka á mik með gylltu horni at Haugi.

I knew {the victory-blessed inciter of war} [WARRIOR] to welcome me with {a good wind of Gríðr <giantess>} [MIND]—he was the most bountiful to know—, when {the feeder {of the blood-starling}} [RAVEN > WARRIOR], ferocious to rings, himself went willingly to toast me with the gilded horn at Haug.

Mss: (590r), 39(32vb) (ll. 1-2, 5-8), F(55vb), E(29v), J2ˣ(302r), 42ˣ(4r) (Hkr); H(79v), Hr(56rb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] hvessi: corrected from ‘hvassi’ E, ‘hyssi’ H, ‘hyssa’ Hr    [2] vas (‘var’): er H, Hr;    nýztr: nýzt H, Hr    [5] ‑stara: ‑staða 39, F;    bræðir: bræði E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ    [7] gylltu: gyldu E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, Hr

Editions: Skj: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa 1: AI, 404, BI, 373, Skald 186; ÍF 28, 206-7 (Ólkyrr ch. 3), F 1871, 257, E 1916, 105; Fms 6, 442 (Ólkyrr ch. 4).

Context: The st. illustrates drinking customs at King Haraldr’s court which are mentioned in Ólkyrr in a ch. on court customs in Óláfr’s time.

Notes: [3] af góðum byr Gríðar ‘with a good wind of Gríðr <giantess> [MIND]’: For the peculiar kennings of this type, in which ‘wind, breeze of a giantess’ denotes ‘thought, mind, disposition’, see Meissner 138-9 and SnE 1998, I, 108. See also ÞjóðA Run 2/1-3 and Arn Magndr 3/7-8. — [6] grimmr baugum ‘ferocious to rings’: Alludes to Haraldr’s generosity when he distributed rings or parts of rings as gifts to his men. — [6] at Haugi ‘at Haug’: A royal farmstead in Værdalen near Stiklestad in Trøndelag, Norway. — [7] gjarn ‘willingly’: Lit. ‘willing’. — [7] gylltu (n. dat. sg.) ‘gilded’: The variant gyldu ‘gilded’ (so E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, Hr; Skj B) is a later form of the same word.

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