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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mey 5VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 5’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 894-5.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra meyja drápa
456

Sæt Máría gjörði að gráta
gráti mædd í sonarins láti;
lát Júðanna fældi að fljóði;
fljóðið horfði á krossinn rjóðan.
Rjóðandi þá flaut og flóði
flóð táranna niðr um móður,
móðurbrjóstið streingt af stríði
stríðið bar sem eingi síðan.

Sæt Máría, mædd gráti, gjörði að gráta í láti sonarins; lát Júðanna fældi að fljóði; fljóðið horfði á rjóðan krossinn. Rjóðandi flóð táranna flaut og flóði þá niðr um móður; móðurbrjóstið, streingt af stríði, bar stríðið sem eingi síðan.

Sweet Mary, overcome by weeping, wept at the death of the son; the conduct of the Jews mocked the woman; the woman looked at the red Cross. The reddening stream of tears then flowed and streamed down the mother; the mother’s chest, tight from grief, bore the grief like no one since.

Mss: 721(11r), 713(23)

Readings: [3] fældi: feldi 721, 713    [5] þá: þá er 713;    og: í 713    [8] eingi: einginn 713

Editions: Skj AII, 527, Skj BII, 583, Skald II, 322, NN §§1839, 2970A.

Notes: [All]: This st. uses a variety of the echoing verse-form that Snorri Sturluson in Ht called iðurmælt ‘repeatedly said’ (SnE 1999, 22). Here the stressed syllable of the final word in l. 1 is repeated (though in a cognate, not the same, word) at the beginning of l. 2; l. 2’s aðalhending changes the stem while maintaining the rhyme, and the new lexeme begins l. 3; this format is repeated through the rest of the st., employing four rhymes in all. Note also that the st. comprises four apposed couplets, allowing the word-play, a type of adnominatio, to suggest a rapid sequence of significant events. This rhetorical ornamentation, which is very like some of the devices employed by the poet of Lil (cf. Foote 1982, 260-3), doubtless reflects the emotional intensity associated with the common medieval motif of Mary standing weeping at the foot of Christ’s Cross. See st. 36, whose subject is S. Margaret, for a similar display. — [5] rjóðandi ‘reddening’: Kock (NN §1839) argues that the participial adj. qualifies flóð n. ‘flood, stream’; Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) has it qualifying móður and translates rjóðandi móður as ‘blushing mother’, but this interpretation ignores the rhetorical force of the echoing verse-form.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Foote, Peter G. 1982. ‘Latin Rhetoric and Icelandic Poetry: Some Contacts’. Saga och sed, 107-27. Rpt. in Foote 1984a, 249-70.
  6. SnE 1999 = Snorri Sturluson. 1999. Edda: Háttatal. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. Rpt. with addenda and corrigenda. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. Internal references
  8. Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘Háttatal’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  9. Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lilja’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 544-677.
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