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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 51. Þórarinn loftunga, 2. Tøgdrápa, 3 [Vol. 1, 855]

[3] Hádýrs ‘of Hådyret’: It is clear from the range of ms. readings that the name caused problems for many scribes. (a) Hádýr is identified here with modern Hådyret, the name of a mountain to the east of Eigersund, Rogaland (so also ÍF 27 and ÍF 29, following Birkeland and Olsen 1913). This gives good sense for the helmingr and is in keeping with the precision over place names which characterises this journey-poem. There are two further possibilities. (b) The cpd could be construed as a ship-kenning hádýr ‘rowlock-animal’ (also found in Refr Frag 5/2III, though there it seems to have an extra determinant, hranna ‘of waves’). This is assumed by Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV, who takes hádýrs to qualify viðir, hence ‘the timbers of the rowlock-animal’. This also gives good sense, and the single ship identified would presumably be the same as the king’s ship in l. 6. (c) In Skj B Finnur Jónsson adopts instead the reading hafgjalfrs from several mss (as does Skald), to create a different kenning, viðir hafgjalfrs ‘timbers of the sea-roar [SHIPS]’; in the process this creates samhending ‘identical rhyme’ on haf within the line, a practice not found elsewhere in the poem.


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