Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 34. Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr, 2 [Vol. 1, 473]

[5] hreina húnlagar ‘the reindeer of the mast-top-liquid [SEA > SHIPS]’: (a) The sea-kenning húnlagar ‘of the mast-top-liquid’ is somewhat awkward, because lǫgr (gen. lagar) in itself means ‘sea’, but it can also mean ‘liquid, fluid’ (see NN §556 and Heggstad et al. 2008: lǫgr 3) and is taken in that sense here. For húnn ‘mast-top’, see Note to Þul Skipa 7/1III and Jesch (2001a, 160). (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) splits up the compound húnlagar and renders the full kenning as lagar húnhreina (i.e. húnhreina lagar ‘mast-top-reindeer of the sea [SHIPS]’). Such a tmesis is unprecedented in the corpus of Old Norse poetry.


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