Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 51. Þórarinn loftunga, 2. Tøgdrápa, 5 [Vol. 1, 858]

[6] svalheims ‘of the cool world [sea]’: This expression for ‘sea’ is of a rare type, with an adj. rather than a noun as first element, but there are seeming parallels in ÞKolb Eirdr 4/2 glæheimr ‘the glistening world’ and later in Rv Lv 21/4II svalteigr ‘cool plot’, and the determinants of a number of sea-kennings stress aspects of coldness, in terms of ice or wind (see Meissner 93). CVC also records a noun sval n. ‘a cool breeze’, but no illustrative quotations are offered and the word is not in Fritzner or ONP. ÓHLeg 1982 suggests instead a kenning ‘swallow-world [SEA]’ with svala ‘swallow’ (the bird) as the first element, but this is unconvincing.

references

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