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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. 54. Hallar-Steinn (biog. vol. 1), Fragments, 5 [Vol. 3, 206]

[2] þér ‘for you’: This edn adopts þér (so mss R, , U, W, C) following the interpretation of Jón Þorkelsson (1890, 5-6). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), followed by all subsequent eds, opted for the A variant Bil (the name of a goddess). Hence his interpretation contains two woman-kennings, Bil ǫlstafna ‘Bil <goddess> of ale-prows’ and væn mǫrk skála ‘beautiful forest of bowls’ (for skála, see Note to ll. 3-4 below). Finnur Jónsson takes Bil ǫlstafna as dat. (‘for the woman’) and væn mǫrk skála as a form of address. That interpretation is highly unlikely, because the woman is then addressed directly while at the same time being referred to in the third person in the same helmingr. Kock (NN §§1188, 1853) also reads Bil but regards both woman-kennings as nom. and as parallel. The examples given in NN §1853, however, actually show that two kennings seldom form such parallelisms – instead, one of the two constituents of a parallelism is a personal name.


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