Kormáks saga

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Kormáks saga (About this soundmodern Icelandic pronunciation ) is one of the Icelanders' sagas. It tells of the tenth-century Icelandic poet, Kormákr Ögmundarson, and Steingerðr, the love of his life. The saga preserves a significant amount of poetry attributed to Kormákr, much of it dealing with his love for Steingerðr. Though the saga is believed to have been among the earliest sagas composed it is well preserved. The unknown author clearly relies on oral tradition and seems unwilling to add much of his own or even to fully integrate the different accounts he knew of Kormákr. Often he does little more than briefly set the scenes for Kormákr's stanzas.[1]

The following stanzas represent some of Kormákr's love poetry. He tells us of the first time he met Steingerðr. Read aloud.

Brunnu beggja kinna The bright lights of both Brightly beamed the lights-of-
bjǫrt ljós á mik drósar,   her cheeks burned onto me both-her-cheeks upon me—
oss hlœgir þat eigi, from the fire-hall's felled wood; e'er will I recall it—
eldhúss of við felldan; no cause of mirth for me in that. o'er the heaped-up wood-pile;
enn til ǫkkla svanna By the threshold I gained a glance and the instep saw I
ítrvaxins gatk líta, at the ankles of this girl of the shapely woman—
þrǫ́ muna oss of ævi of glorious shape; yet while I live no laughing matter, lo! my
eldask, hjá þreskeldi. that longing will never leave me. longing—by the threshold.
Brámáni skein brúna The moon of her eyelash—that valkyrie Brightly shone the beaming
brims und ljósum himni adorned with linen, server of herb-surf—   brow-moons of the goodly
Hristar hǫrvi glæstrar shone hawk-sharp upon me lady linen-dight, how
haukfránn á mik lauka; beneath her brows' bright sky; like a hawk's, upon me;
en sá geisli sýslir but that beam from the eyelid-moon but that beam from forehead's-
síðan gullmens Fríðar of the goddess of the golden torque bright-hued-orbs, I fear me,
hvarmatungls ok hringa will later bring trouble to me of the Eir-of-gold doth
Hlínar óþurft mína. and to the ring goddess herself. ill spell for us later.
Einar Ól. Sveinsson's edition   — Rory McTurk's translation Lee M. Hollander's adaptation


Other sources[edit]

  • Einar Ól. Sveinsson (Ed.) (1939). Íslenzk fornrit VIII - Vatnsdœla saga. Reykjavík: Hið íslenzka fornritafélag.
  • Hollander, Lee M. (Ed.) (1949). The Sagas of Kormák and The Sworn Brothers. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Viðar Hreinsson (Ed.) (1997). The Complete Sagas of Icelanders - Volume I. Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing. ISBN 9979-9293-1-6.

External links[edit]