skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Nesv 1I/5 — Kannk ‘I am able’

Fór ór Vík á vári
válaust konungr austan,
— þeir kníðu blô báðir
borð — en jarl kom norðan.
Kannk sigrviðum segja,
sund*, hvé þeira fundir,
œrin skil, þeims ôrum,
at bôrusk, þar skôru.

Konungr fór válaust austan ór Vík á vári, en jarl kom norðan; þeir báðir kníðu blô borð. Kannk segja sigrviðum, þeims skôru sund* þar ôrum, œrin skil, hvé fundir þeira bôrusk at.

The king set forth, without doubt, from the east out of Vík in spring, and the jarl came from the north; they both urged on the black planks. I am able to tell the victory-trees [WARRIORS], those who cut the sea there with their oars, sufficient information as to how their encounters took place.

notes

[5, 6, 7, 8] kannk segja sigrviðum, þeims skôru sund* þar ôrum, œrin skil ‘I am able to tell the victory-trees [WARRIORS], those who cut the sea there with their oars, sufficient information’: Sigvatr asserts his entitlement to give an authoritative account of the engagement in front of an audience of persons who had themselves participated. Finnur Jónsson’s emendation of ôrum to órut in l. 7 (Skj B) gives þeims órut þar ‘who were not there’, producing a contrast with the skald, but emendation is unnecessary, as shown by Fidjestøl (1982, 227-8: see Note to l. 7 below).

grammar

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