Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 10. Knútsdrápa, 5 [Vol. 1, 656]

[5-8]: This helmingr is extremely difficult to construe, and all eds suggest varying degrees of emendation (except for ÍF 29, which emends hjǫlmum to hjǫlmun in l. 6, perhaps unwittingly, but does not attempt a translation). (a) Kock’s proposed emendations are modest, and yield good sense, both in terms of the resultant kenning and the larger structure of the stanza (NN §§648, 2924; Skald). They are consequently adopted here, as also in ÓHLeg 1982, although the phrase garðr grôum hjǫlmum ‘wall (made) of grey helmets’ is perhaps slightly forced. (b) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B emends very heavily indeed, suggesting the following: þars garðr fyr gnóð | grô hjǫlmunlô, | þreifsk brims þruma | Þundar umb ǫndur ‘where the grey billow resounded before the ship, the thunder of Þundr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE] flourished around the ski of the surf [SHIP]’. Finnur marks garðr in his prose order (and in LP: garðr 8) as uninterpretable, and seems to see it as a corruption of a verb ‘resounded’; he also hesitates over the ship-kenning. In Þul Á 4/3III, Hjalmunlá or Hjǫlmunlá is a river-name, but here Finnur takes it to be a wave or billow.


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