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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson (biog. vol. 2), 1. Fragments, 8 [Vol. 3, 10]

[All]: The hand in the addition to 743ˣ is that of Árni Magnússon, as observed by Jón Helgason (1966a, 179), who also noted the preservation of this isolated phrase and its attribution to Arnórr in further mss of LaufE. The kenning is rare, and not cited in Meissner 89, but it is paralleled there by kennings referring to grass as the hair, mane or seaweed of the land (see, e.g. Snjólfr V 1/2IV föx jarðar ‘the mane of the earth’; see also Anon Bjark 3/1 and Note). With its compressed comparison of grass growing on the ground like plumage on a bird, it encapsulates a microcosm/macrocosm parallel of the sort which forms part of an ‘argument from design’ for the existence of a single Creator God as presented, for instance, in the Prologue to SnE.

references

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