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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300

1. Dróttkvætt (KEG)
2. Hrynhent (KEG)
3. Fornyrðislag (KEG)
4. Kviðuháttr (KEG)
5. Tøglag and hagmælt (KEG)
6. Málaháttr and Haðarlag (KEG)
7. Runhent (KEG)
8. Other metres and mixed metres (KEG)

(Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 6. Metres, Poetic Diction and Normalisation > 1. Metres > 4. Kviðuháttr)

4. Kviðuháttr (KEG)

This metre is a catalectic variant of fornyrðislag, in which the odd lines have three metrical positions and the even lines correspond to the even lines of fornyrðislag, as in the anonymous Nóregs konungatal (Anon Nkt, c. 1190). Consider the following half-stanza from that poem (st. 4/1-4):

Tók kappsamr
við konungsnafni
Haraldr brátt
inn hárfagri.

Kappsamr Haraldr inn hárfagri tók brátt við konungsnafni. ‘Vigorous Haraldr inn hárfagri (‘the Fair-haired’) at once received the title of king.’

In addition to Anon Nkt, Sturla Þórðarson’s Hákonarkviða (Sturl Hákkv, c. 1264) and two lausavísur by Oddi inn litli (Oddi Lv 4-5) are also composed in kviðuháttr.

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