Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. Anonymous Poems, 3. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar, 27 [Vol. 1, 1058]

[4] an vér tókumsk ‘before we [I] began’: The m. v. takask in the sense ‘begin, get under way, arise’ is normally predicated to abstract subjects rather than human ones (as in Sigv Tryggfl 1/2 morð tóksk ‘killing arose’, and cf. Anon Mv I 4/8VII). However, it also occurs in the idiom takask orðum ‘begin to speak, begin in/with words’ (cf. Þfagr Sveinn 9/6II), and in the present helmingr it is possible that fagrbjór ‘beautiful beer [poetry]’, as well as being the object to the first clause, is understood (now in the dat.) as a counterpart to orðum. Such a dual role, a kind of apo koinou, is rare, but for possible parallels see Notes to Eyv Hál 11/7-8, Sigv Austv 6/2, Þorm Lv 10/4. 


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