Stefán Einarsson. The Poetry of Egill Skalla-Grímsson

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  • Author: Stefán Einarsson
  • Title: The Poetry of Egill Skalla-Grímsson
  • Published in: Tímarit Þjóðræknisfélags Íslendinga í Vesturheimi 49
  • Year: 1967
  • Pages: 36-47
  • E-text: timarit.is
  • Reference: Stefán Einarsson. "The Poetry of Egill Skalla-Grímsson." Tímarit Þjóðræknisfélags Íslendinga í Vesturheimi 49 (1967): 36-47.

  • Key words: poetry (kveðskapur)


Contents

Annotation

The author highlights the main scenes that feature Egil’s poetry and its unique, innovative qualities including self-mockery of his appearance, the poem Hofuðlausn as the first instance of end rhyme in Old Norse poetry. He draws connections between Egil’s poetry and Hávamál, providing a reading of Egil’s saga in terms of family, faith, and veneration of Odin. He also examines the duality of Egil, acting as both “family man and viking” (44). Arguing for Egil’s placement as the greatest poet of the age, he notes the sensitivity and picaresque traits of the hero.

Lýsing

Stefán Einarsson fjallar sérstaklega um þá kafla Eglu þar sem kveðskapur Egils er í brennidepli. Hann ræðir ýmis frumleg einkenni kvæðanna þar sem skáldið gerir meðal annars grín að eigin útliti. Þá bendir hann á að Höfðlausn sé elsta dæmi um runurím í norrænum kveðskap. Einnig gerir hann samanburð á kvæðum Egils og Hávamálum og túlkar Eglu í ljósi hugmynda um fjölskyldubönd, örlög og Óðinsdýrkun. Hann ræðir líka tvískipt hlutverk Egils sem fjölskylduföður og víkings. Niðurstaðan er sú að Egill hafi verið merkasta skáld sinnar aldar og Stefán bendir á að í persónulýsingu hans megi bæði greina stórkarlalegar og viðkvæmnislegar hliðar.

See also

References

Chapter 31: höggva mann og annan: "This stanza has all the marks of genuineness upon it, it is obviously the work of a beginner, a thing which cannot be said about two other stanzas in the same meter that Egill is supposed to have composed even at an earlier age. This at once raises the question: how many of the 50-60 occasional stanzas in the saga might be genuine" (p. 37).

Chapter 62: Óx hjörva glöm: "Considering its fresh modernity of the meter, Höfuðlausn must have been very effective in recital, as indeed it still is. The poem is highly suggestive of the rush of weapons and the clash of battle" (p. 42).

Links

  • Written by: Jacob Malone
  • Icelandic translation: Jón Karl Helgason
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