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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði, 15 [Vol. 3, 1229]

[8] at ‘that …’: Most previous eds supply bersa kali ‘a bear freezes’, where the verb kali ‘freezes’ is 3rd pers. sg. subj. used impersonally and bersa ‘bear’ acc. sg. of bersi. This conjectural reading by Jón Sigurðsson has taken a firm grip on scholarship. Adherents of Bishop Bjarni’s authorship of Mhkv have used it (along with bersi in st. 6/8) as supporting evidence: bersi = Bjarni < bjǫrn ‘bear’ (see, e.g. LH II, 48). Guðbrandur Vigfússon suggested the emendation (at) hvatan dvali ‘the bold man never delays’ (Möbius 1874, 33), but it did not find a home in CVC.


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