A History of Old Norse Poetry and Poetics by Margaret Clunies Ross

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By Margaret Clunies Ross

This can be the 1st booklet in English to house the dual matters of outdated Norse poetry and a few of the vernacular treatises on local poetry that have been a conspicuous function of medieval highbrow lifestyles in Iceland and the Orkneys from the mid-twelfth to the fourteenth centuries. Its goal is to offer a transparent description of the wealthy poetic culture of early Scandinavia, really 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 writer analyses the 2 dominant poetic modes, eddic and skaldic, giving clean examples in their a variety of types and matters; seems on the prose contexts within which most elderly Norse poetry has been preserved; and discusses difficulties of interpretation that come up end result of the poetry's mode of transmission. She is anxious all through to hyperlink indigenous idea with perform, starting with the pre-Christian ideology of poets as favoured through the god ódinn and concluding with the Christian proposal undeniable variety most sensible conveys the poet's message.

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1000 to the numerous personal quarrels represented in family sagas (see 40 genres and subgenres of skaldic verse Almqvist 1965–74). 1 In all cases níñ verses served to undermine a person’s (normally a man’s) honour, usually by casting doubt on his sexuality as a measure of his manliness (Meulengracht Sørensen 1983). Underlying the psychodynamics of these poetic subgenres of blame is the idea that poetry has the power to affect its victims with physical harm and mental hurt as well as to damage their reputations with dishonourable imputations.

Behind both Háttatal and Háttalykill lie Latin as well as indigenous influences, as will be discussed in Chapters 7 and 8. Another catalogue form, of special interest to poets, was the ãula or versified list of poetic synonyms (heiti) for the major subjects of skaldic verse, such as gods, men and women, ships, weapons and gold. Though ãulur were of most use to skaldic poets, the extant examples use eddic verse forms. The evolution of the ãula is speculative, but in all probability is attributable to the need oral poets felt to have access to versified aide-mémoires which functioned somewhat like rhyming dictionaries (see Clunies Ross 1987: 80–91).

1325, pages 43–7), another being found in the manuscript AM 761a 4to, pages 11–17r, a copy of the now lost medieval manuscript Kringla. Poetic versions of the tal (‘list’) form include poems celebrating members of important Norwegian dynasties and, in one case, Nóregskonungatal, an Icelandic family, the Oddaverjar, who had Norwegian royal connections on the wrong side of the blanket. Examples are Ynglingatal, listing members of a Swedish and Norwegian dynasty, and Háleygjatal. We have noted in Chapter 1 that these dynastic poems are in the verse form kviñuháttr.

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