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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 5. Vestrfararvísur, 3 [Vol. 1, 619]

[2, 4] sá* hefr allt úti ‘he [Knútr] has all [his forces] out’: The word order is highly problematic if ms. ‘sa er’ (normalised sás), rel. pron. ‘who’, is retained in l. 2, since it is preceded not only by the object of the clause, allt ‘everything’, here ‘all [his forces]’, but also by the finite verb hefr ‘has’. Kock proposed two solutions: the present one in NN §631 (except that he takes úti with the main clause), and another in NN §§2257, 3223 and Skald, in which sás ‘who’ is followed by the verb fór ‘went’, but this is the reading of a single ms. and fjǫr-, in the cpd fjǫrvaltan ‘in danger of his life’, is likely to be the original reading. The clause could mean literally that Knútr has the whole of his fleet at sea, ready for the attack, or more metaphorically that he has used all available means to make the attack happen, cf., perhaps, the ModIcel. expression hafa allar klær úti ‘have all one’s claws out’ cited in Hkr 1893-1901, IV and ÍF 27.


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