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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 7. Flokkr about Erlingr Skjálgsson, 4 [Vol. 1, 634]

[5, 6, 7] víðbotn varðkeri glyggs ‘the wide base of the guarding-vessel of the storm [SKY > EARTH]’: Varðkeri glyggs ‘guarding-vessel of the storm’ is a sky-kenning which acts as the determinant for víðbotn ‘wide base’, producing a circumlocution for ‘earth’ (cf. Egill Arkv 18/7-8V(Eg 114) á víðum botni vindkers ‘on the wide base of the wind-vessel [SKY > EARTH]’, and a further example in Meissner 87, where the present instance is regarded as uncertain). However, since -keri is in the dat. case, rather than gen., the construction should perhaps be regarded as kenning-like rather than a kenning. The dat. could be regarded (exceptionally) as poss., or else locative. An additional consideration is that víðbotn is very much a minority reading, though acceptable as the lectio difficilior in a context in which some scribes failed to understand the kenning and associated the word rather with the p. n. Bókn which has just been mentioned in the previous stanza.


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