Krákumál

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Ragnar Lodbrok during his presentation of Krákumál

Krákumál or the Lay of Kraka is a skaldic poem, consisting of a monologue in which Ragnar Lodbrok is dying in Ælla's snake pit and looks back at a life full of heroic deeds. It was composed in the 12th century, almost certainly in the Scottish islands.[1] It is composed in a kind of háttlausa with stanzas of ten lines.

In moving and forceful language, the poem deals with the joys of the life of a warrior, the hope that his death will be followed by a gory revenge, and the knowledge that he will soon know the pleasures of Valhalla.

Translation[edit]

The poem has been translated into several languages and it has contributed to the modern image of a Viking warrior.

Excerpt:

Hjoggum vér með hjörvi.
Hitt vas æ fyr löngu,
es á Gautlandi gengum
at grafvitnis morði;
þá fengum vér Þóru,
þaðan hétu mik fyrðar,
es lyngölun lagðak,
Loðbrók at því vígi;
stakk á storðar lykkju
stáli bjartra mála.(Northvegr's edition)
We swung our sword;
that was ever so long ago
when we walked in Gautland
to the murder of the dig-wulf.
Then we received Þóra;
since then
(at that battle when I killed the heather-fish)
people called me Furry-pants.
I stabbed the spear
into the loop of the earth."(Haukur Þorgeirsson's translation)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ó Corráin (1979) p. 289

References[edit]

  • Waggoner, Ben (2009), The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok, The Troth, ISBN 978-0-578-02138-6 
  • Ó Corráin, Donnchadh (Mar 1979) "High-Kings, Vikings and Other Kings". Irish Historical Studies 22 No. 83 pp. 283–323. Irish Historical Studies Publications.

Primary sources[edit]

Other external links[edit]