Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur III, 21 [Vol. 7, 731-2]

[5]: The last words in the l. (‘skv[…]lo’) are difficult to reconstruct. The last syllable must have a long vowel and rhyme with ský- ‘cloud-’. Skald suggests skuggsjá ‘mirror’ and construes it with skýjalaus ‘cloudless’ (skýjalaus skuggsjá ‘a spotless mirror’). The present reconstruction represents a modification of the reading proposed by Wrightson (see Note to ll. 5-6). Skýja ‘of the clouds’ is otherwise attested as a determinant in kennings for ‘God’ (see LP: ský), but ský can also be taken figuratively to mean ‘that which prevents one from seeing something’ (see Fritzner: ský 2), which would be an apt term for ‘devils’ (skör skýja ‘crowd of deceptions’).


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