Óþekkt ljóðabréf eftir séra Einar Sigurðsson í Eydölum

  • Þórunn Sigurðardóttir Research professor, Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum / Háskóli Íslands
Keywords: Verse letters/Epistolary poems, Einar Sigurðsson í Eydölum, Gísli Einarsson í Vatnsfirði, Magnús Jónsson í Vigur, Preservation of poetry, manuscript culture, Attributing authorship


A poem with the title “Frumtignarvísur” (A poem to the Firstborn) is to be found in the manuscript Lbs 847 4to, which was in all likelyhood collected by Magnús Jónsson in Vigur in the year 1693. Two shorter poems, titled “Nú koma aðrar” (Here is another poem) and “En þessar eiga með að fylgja” (But these are supposed to accompany them), follow “Frumtignarvísur”. The manuscript contains religious poetry by various poets, some identified and some unknown, and some secular poetry as well. The author of the three poems under discussion is unidentified in the manuscript. Here I argue that the poems belong to the genre of verse letters/epistolary poems and, furthermore, that they were composed by the Reverend Einar Sigurðsson in Eydalir for his son the Reverend Gísli Einarsson in Vatnsfjörður by Ísafjarðardjúp in the Westfjords. I suggest that the purpose of “Frumtignarvísur” was to respond to the son’s complaints and to moralise over him, but also to encourage him and give him paternal blessing. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the third verse letter is of a similar kind to Frumtignarvísur, but the second poem is of a more affirmative nature, possibly from the time when the son started his career in the Westfjords. Finally, the first critical edition of the poems is presented at the end of the article, both in a diplomatic edition and in modern orthography