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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 3. Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, 1. Glymdrápa, 5 [Vol. 1, 84]

[All]: Several commentators note this stanza’s artfully convoluted sentence structure. It is composed of a main clause in the first helmingr and a subordinate clause in the second, each of which contains an intercalary clause located in the third line of the helmingr (ll. 3 and 7 respectively). Further, each helmingr contains an additional syntactic unit: another subordinate clause in ll. 1 and 4, and a separate main clause in ll. 6 and 8 (Engster 1983, 189-90; Kuhn 1969b, 68). Reichardt (1928, 226) sees in this the poet’s attempt to convey the turmoil of battle, and Holtsmark (1927, 34-5) perceives a representation of the battle in the rhythm of the short sentences. These trace the battle’s development from engagement to victory, with sigri ‘victory’ as the last word of the stanza.


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