Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Brúðkaupsvísur, 28 [Vol. 7, 549-50]

[3] kát víf skulu vita ‘cheerful women shall know’: The cl. here is construed as an intercalary. The verb skulu (3rd pers. pl.) is abbreviated in 721 and 1032ˣ as ‘sk̄u’ which could be expanded as skaltu (2nd pers. sg.). Both readings make sense, but if the abbreviation is expanded as skaltu, it is necessary to follow Jón Helgason’s emendation þat for kát; þat skaltu vita, víf ‘you shall know that, woman’. Kát ‘cheerful’ can either be f. sg. or n. pl. The latter can stand with víf (n. pl.) ‘cheerful women’. The poet seems to be addressing a group of women, probably his intended audience. Given the poem’s subject matter, it is possible that these women were religious.

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