Poet Þórarinn Eldjárn Eulogizes King Of Sweden - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Poet Þórarinn Eldjárn Eulogizes King Of Sweden

Published November 18, 2014

Author Þórarinn Eldjárn has now concluded his series of “drápas”, written and performed for each of Scandinavia’s three sovereigns: two kings and one queen. Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden was the last to receive his drápa, as it was recited to him, by Þórarinn, today.

Drápa is among the most prevalent forms of Scandinavia’s and Iceland’s medieval skaldic poetry. Most drápas were written to praise a king for his bravery and benevolence. If well received, the poet could expect to gain the king’s favor, even friendship, in return.

Each sovereign was, at his or her respective recitation ceremony, presented with a copy of new translations of the Sagas of Icelanders, recently published in each of the countries’ three languages.

The Sagas, composed in old Norse in the 12th and 13th centuries, are mostly secular narratives focusing on murderous events in the lives of farmers, poets and vikings residing in Iceland. No Saga has been translated to modern Icelandic, as the language has reportedly undergone only negligible changes since the middle ages.

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