Þorbjörn dísarskáld

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Þorbjörn dísarskáld[1] is a 10th or 11th century Icelandic skald. His nickname means "poet of the lady" or "poet of the dís".[2] It could be an allusion to a now lost poem about Freyja[3] (whom Snorri Sturluson in the Skáldskaparmál calls Vanadís, "lady of the Vanir" or "dís of the Vanir") or one of the dísir.[4]

But only one or two fragments of his poetry have been preserved, in Skáldskaparmál. The first one (two verses and one stanza) comes from a poem about Thor. The stanza consists of a list of giants and giantesses killed by the god:

Thou didst smite the head of Keila,
Smash Kjallandi altogether,
Ere thou slewest Lútr and Leidi,
Didst spill the blood of Búseyra;
Didst hold back Hengjankjapta,
Hyrrokkin died before;
Yet sooner in like fashion
Svívör from life was taken.
Skáldskaparmál (4), Brodeur's translation

The other fragment deals with the christening of an unknown person:

The Freighter of Wave-Crests' Sea-Wain
Was in the font of christening,
Hoard-Scatterer, who was given
The White Christ's highest favor.
Skáldskaparmál (52), Brodeur's translation

Þorbjörn's authorship of this passage is not certain. If both texts have the same author, then it means, as Anthony Faulkes states,[5] that Þorbjörn became Christian.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sometimes anglicized Thorbjörn dísarskáld or Thorbiorn disarskald.
  2. ^ The noun dís can refer to the dísir but it can also simply mean "lady".
  3. ^ Faulkes 1998, p. 257.
  4. ^ Simek 1996.
  5. ^ Faulkes 1995, p. 255.

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