Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hólm-ganga (the Duel), verse 1 [NaPoWriMo # 3]

November 3 - Day 3:

Yesterday's verse is tagged for future use in a þattr as I explained. Today´s verse is the second verse to go into the very same þattr about our hero fighting a hólm-gang (duel) against a foe who has insulted him.  The hólm-gang is traditionally ought on a small island, barely large enough for the two men to stand, with the battle being to the death.  If fought on land, a hólm-hring (duel ring) is drawn around the two combatants. To step beyond its limits, unless you are victorious, means death.  This is pretty serious stuff.

Today's verse features multiple kenningar which are explained in the notes following the verse.




Old Icelandic Line-by-Line Prose Order Translation
Á sker-garða elg-stafna
styri-flotna (fyr virðing)
(sveigr mikill leiks-sára)
(skorðir á holm) röri.
Sól-geisli al-skarlat
svaltung rauði fuðru;
sam-hljóði át ströndu
songar-sverða dverg-mælti.
to rock-reef elk of stems
Wielder of men (for fame)
(the brandisher great of wound-leek)
(you challenged to a duel) you rowed.
Sun-beams all-scarlet
sword-tongues red blazed;
harmony across the shore
the sword-songs dwarf-talked.
Wielder of men you rowed
the stem-elk to the rock reef;
you challenged the great wound-leek
brandisher to a duel for fame.
Sun-beams all-scarlet
blazed sword-tongues red;
sword-songs dwarf-talked
harmony across the shore.



Kennings Used

elg-stafna  > elk of stems > BOAT
styri-flotna  > wielder of men > WARRIOR LEADER
sveigr leiks sára > brandisher of the wound-leek > sword > WARRIOR
svaltung > sword-tongues > BLADES
songar-sverða > sword-songs > BATTLE
dverg-mælti > dwarf-talked > ECHOED (Note: This is not exactly a kenning, but still warrants explanation.


I hope you enjoyed Day 3 of my NaPoWriMo exercise.  Please leave your comments below!

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