Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu, 20 [Vol. 7, 753-4]

[5-6] skorða vita hattar ‘prop of the beacon of the hat [GOLD > WOMAN]’: So Sperber and Wrightson. A comparable kenning is unattested. Skj B and Skald emend hattar to handar ‘of the hand’ which is construed as a determinant in a woman-kenning: skorða vita handar ‘the prop of the beacon of the hand [GOLD > WOMAN]’. However, handar ‘of the hand’ leaves the l. without an internal rhyme. Sperber (1911, 72) suggests that vita hattar ‘beacon of the hat’ refers to golden adornment on a hat. Skorða ‘prop’ was a wooden post used to support beached ships. Mar (1871, 302) reads as follows: Þat er minn vitnisbvrðr at þv segir satt hvert orð af þessv efni ‘It is my testimony, that you tell the complete truth [lit. every word true] concerning this matter’.

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