Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 55. Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa, 11 [Vol. 1, 951]

[5] bára bens ‘the wave of the wound [BLOOD]’: Though not strictly an emendation, the reading bens bára is a conjectural combination of elements from byrs bára (61) and bensára or ben sára (53, 54, Bb). Neither ms. reading makes sense, and ‑sára appears to be a case of dittography (cf. l. 4 sára ‘of wounds’), while bens bára, adopted in previous eds (Fms 12, Skj B, Skald, Ólafur Halldórsson 2000) gives good sense. Ben ‘wound’ is more commonly a f. noun whose gen. form is benjar, but here it is n. with gen. sg. form in -s (cf. ANG §382); this may also have contributed to the presumed corruption. Bens is a suitable determinant for the blood-kenning required by the context (cf. Meissner 206-7), while the 61 reading byrs ‘of the favouring wind’ is not, unless byrr is assumed, exceptionally, to be a heiti for ‘battle’.


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