Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Brúðkaupsvísur, 23 [Vol. 7, 545-6]

[4] grennir ‘feeder’: The base-word of a typical warrior-kenning, with the determinant filled by a word for a bird of prey or carrion bird (LP: grennir 2), which is usually qualified by a term for battle or blood in order to form a raven- or eagle-kenning. It is possible, however, to understand the base-word grennir in the kenning grennir gjóða ‘feeder of ospreys’ in a different sense, ‘the one who makes the ospreys thinner’ (cf. LP: grenna 1, grennir 1), that is, an ineffectual warrior who does not serve the carrion up to the birds of prey. That interpretation is more in line with what we know about the young man, who appears to be peaceful and devout, rather than a great warrior. The men following him to the wedding-feast might not have regarded his peaceful nature as a good quality. The poet’s word-play could be unintentionally ironic, but it offers an interesting and humorous interpretation.


© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.