By Margaret Clunies Ross

A historical past of outdated Norse Poetry and Poetics is the 1st booklet in English to accommodate the dual matters of previous Norse poetry and a number of the vernacular treatises on local poetry that have been the sort of conspicuous function of medieval highbrow lifestyles in Iceland and the Orkneys from the mid-twelfth to the fourteenth centuries. Its target is to provide a transparent description of the wealthy poetic culture of early Scandinavia, rather in Iceland, the place it reached its zenith, and to illustrate the social contexts that favoured poetic composition, from the oral societies of the early Viking Age in Norway and its colonies to the religious compositions of literate Christian clerics in fourteenth-century Iceland. the 2 dominant poetic modes, eddic and skaldic, are analysed, and their a variety of types and topics are illustrated with newly selected examples. The ebook units out the prose contexts within which most aged Norse poetry has been preserved and discusses difficulties of interpretation that come up as a result poetry's mode of transmission. in the course of the publication, the writer hyperlinks indigenous concept with perform, starting with the pre-Christian ideology of poets as favoured via the god ? resort and concluding with the Christian proposal simple sort top conveys the poet's message.

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In addition, there are three instances in which runic texts offer variants of stanzas also known from manuscript sources. 1175–1225), which is very close in wording to the first half of a lausavísa attributed to Egill Skallagrímsson in Egils saga (lv. 38 in Skj AI: 58, BI: 51). In the saga, Egill’s verse is occasioned by his discovery that a young man, spurned as a suitor by a girl whose family Egill is lodging with, has tried to carve love-runes on a piece of whalebone, but through lack of expertise has instead carved a runic charm that made her very ill.

2. The first stanza of Atlakviña (‘Poem about Attila’), a heroic poem of 25 a history of old norse poetry and poetics the Elder Edda collection, in the verse form fornyrñislag. Atli (Attila, leader of the Huns) has sent a messenger named Knéfrõñr to his rivals Gunnarr and Hõgni, his wife Guñrún’s brothers, to entice them to his court where he intends to acquire their legendary wealth and then murder them. This poem is part of a heroic series in the Codex Regius manuscript that deals with the legendary dynasty of the Gjúkingar, perhaps to be identified with the historical Burgundians.

These include subject matter (old heroic tales versus praise of a historical leader or friend) and the illocutionary stance of the narrating poetic voice (engaged poet observing actions of the here and now or praising a man whose qualities are known to a contemporary audience, versus a self-effacing narrator telling a story that his audience knows and has probably heard before). These differences in poetic persona relate to the fact that much (though not by any means all) skaldic poetry is ascribed to named poets, whereas relatively little poetry in eddic measures is.

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