Sayers, William. Poetry and social agency in Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar
- Author: Sayers, William
- Title: Poetry and social agency in Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar
- Published in: Scripta Islandica 46
- Year: 1995
- Pages: 29-62
- Reference: Sayers, William. "Poetry and social agency in Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar." Scripta Islandica 46 (1995): 29–62.
- Key words:
Sayers analyses the use of poetry in Egil’s saga. Because of the saga norms of external description of behavior, the verses provide in his view an emotional complement to the account of events in prose with their differing affective objectives and stylistic registers. In Egill’s creations, poetry praises others while always praising itself. With skaldic poetry, emotion is subordinated to the appreciation of form and meaning. Finally, poetry is perceived as a kind of “wealth” in the poet’s lifetime and “assures him a future life in men’s minds” (p. 61).
William Sayers greinir notkun kveðskapar í Egils sögu og segir að hann veiti tilfinningalega innsýn í atburði sem er lýst á hlutlausan máta í óbundnu máli sögunnar. Kveðskapur Egils lofar aðra á sama tíma og hann lofar kveðskapinn sjálfan. Í dróttkvæðum eru tilfinningar settar lægra en formið og merkingin. Kveðskapur er eins konar auður á lífsleið skáldsins sem „tryggir honum framhaldslíf í hugum manna“ (s. 61)
Chapter 31: Kominn er eg: "The first poem ‘happens’ when Egill is denied permission to attend a feast at his maternal grandfather’s because of his intractability after drinking. […] Egill’s speech reflects a resource as yet independent of context, objective, and application. To adapt a modern idiom: Egill is a poem waiting to happen" (p. 35).
Chapter 59: á hönd Eiríki konungi: "Egill’s effort to manipulate circumstances to his advantage include a coercive summons of supernatural powers, a demand that the spirits of the land banish the royal pair. It is of interest that the erection of the pole is NOT accompanied by verse, despite earlier defamatory stanzas on Eirikr and Gunnhildr" (p. 44).
- Written by: Paloma Desoille
- Icelandic translation: Andri M. Kristjánsson