Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New verse for Haakonar saga eiki

Today (sorry for being quiet for a bit) a new verse for Haakonar saga eiki, chapter three. It is a two-parter, a dialogue between the King and Boris. The first helmingr is spoken by the King; the second by kol-skeggr.


Sonr Þorvalds sköruligr
stófni trjá né heldur ---
hagr ert þu á hjálm-Griður
hríð fleinþollarr gegn þer?

Fjall-skógs myrki fylkir
frá mér lundr þinn örugg
en hjálm-Griður mín heilla
hjakk fleinþollar blakka

Stalwart son of Thorvaldr
stems of trees don´t stop you -
handy are you with battle-witch
while spear-firs attack you?

mountain forest dark king
your grove is safe from me
but my battle-witch lucky
hacks spear-firs black



Only two kennings here:

hjálm-Gríður : helmet-Gríður [troll-woman] :  AXE
fleinþollarrr :  spear firs : WARRIORS


LOVE IT?????? HATE IT????????

Please, leave me comments below!


  1. I really like your imagery and kennings, Friðríkr. There's still a lot of unevenness as far as what period of Icelandic you're using ("sonur" for instance has the Modern Icelandic ending -ur, but in the same line "sköruligr" has the Old Icelandic ending -r), and the noun cases aren't always quite right (for instance in the second line I'd have put "trees" in the genitive - "trjá"). Although on the second point I've watched you get a lot better over time.

    What period of Norse/Icelandic do you mostly want to shoot for? Late Viking period (say around 1000)? Classical Literary Old Norse (1200-1400)? Modern Icelandic?

    Also, as far as using cases go, have you seen this helpful little item?'s%20magic%20sheet.pdf

  2. Hi, Jackson, and many thanks for the comment. You have become my role-model and, in a sense, my goad. Your poetry flows so easily. I read it and despair of ever coming close to it.

    Anyway, you asked which era I'm aiming for. I base my persona and the tales (which are adaptations of incidents my real-life friends have experienced into þættir) in the year 1250, so it's Classic Literary Old Norse for me.

    Any other advice you ave for me, I'd greatly appreciate.



  3. You are far too kind! Although I'm not sure the poetry flows easily; swiftly, sometimes, but that faucet turns on and off, and sometimes it completely stops. I also don't have your flair for imagery.

    Well, as far as grammar, one book that you may find very useful is Michael Barnes's, which is free online:

    If you would like, I can also e-mail you the grammar exercises I give my students, and I'll even "grade" you, if you would find that a useful exercise. I also have some handouts I can send you that you might find useful; e-mail me if you're interested and I can send them to you tomorrow from my office computer.

    As to sticking to one period, here's 2 big pointers about keeping things looking 1250-ish:

    -remember that the ending -ur on masculine nouns is Modern Icelandic; Old Icelandic masculine nouns just end in -r without a vowel in front of it
    -the vowel ö is Modern Icelandic, and replaces two distinct vowels in Old Icelandic (ǫ and ø); if you're not sure which one belongs in a particular word, feel free to e-mail me

    In general, feel completely free to e-mail me to ask or discuss anything. I don't consider it a waste of my time to help anybody who wants to learn Old Norse better!