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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal, 77 [Vol. 3, 1188]

[5-6]: Line 5 is partly damaged in R, and what can be read can be rendered as follows: ‘lypta[…]a lyðr opt’. Ms. W has ‘lyptaz kna of liði opt’, which gives the following version of ll. 5-6: lauki kná opt lyptask of liði við raukn kjalar ‘the mast is often lifted above the crew near the draught-animals of the keel’. Lyptask ‘is lifted’ is then used impersonally with a passive meaning and lauki ‘mast’ as the dat. object. Ms. R furnishes the subject lýðr ‘people’ which means that the m. v. is no longer possible: lýðr kná opt lyptask lauki of raukn kjalar ‘people can often be lifted with the mast on the draught-animals of the keel’ makes little sense. (a) The present edn follows SnE 1848-87, Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) and Skald, assuming an original R reading of l. 5 as lypta kná lýðr opt lit. ‘lift can people often’ with lauki ‘mast’ (l. 6) as the dat. object. (b) Skj B opts for a combination of the R and W readings and renders ll. 5-6 (prose order) as lauki kná opt lypta of liði of kjalar raukn translated as masten rejses ofte på skibene over mandskabet ‘the mast is often raised on the ships above the crew’. (c) Faulkes (SnE 2007) gives the inf. of the first verb as lyptask, but he otherwise retains the R readings of the two lines, taking lyptask in a passive meaning (‘be lifted’) and lauki ‘mast’ as a dat. instr. (‘people are often lifted with the mast on the ships’), which is difficult to understand (see above).

references

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