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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði, 11 [Vol. 3, 1225]

[1-4]: The poet warns his hearers that the central section (stefjabálkr) of the poem is imminent, that the first occurrence of the refrain (stef) is approaching. Such notification is otherwise restricted to the great Christian drápur: cf. Fúss emk vanda stef ‘I am eager to compose a refrain’ (ESk Geisl 18/1, 4VII), Emk fúss smíða … fritt stef ‘I am eager to compose an attractive refrain’ (Anon Pl 11/1, 2, 4VII), Róm skyldir vanda greitt stef ‘We are obliged to fashion a free-flowing refrain’ (Gamlkan Has 20/1, 3, 4VII) and Hátt stef skal smíðat … fljótt ‘A loud refrain shall be made quickly’ (Anon Leið 13/1, 3, 4VII). See Kreutzer (1977, 211).


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