The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).
Þessi fígúra er mjǫk hǫfð í málssnildar-list, er rethorica heitir, ok er hon upphaf til kveðandi þeirar, er saman heldr nórænum skáldskap svá sem naglar halda skipi saman, er smiðr gerir ok ferr sundrlaust ella borð frá borði, svá heldr ok þessi fígúra saman kveðandi í skáldskap með stǫfum þeim, er stuðlar heita ok hǫfuðstafir.
This figure is much used in the art of eloquence known as Rhetorica, and it forms the origin of the alliteration that holds together Norse poetry. Just as the nails hold together a ship made by a builder, in which otherwise the boards would fall asunder, likewise this figure holds together the alliteration or poetry, by means of the letters which are called stuðlar ("supporters") and hǫfuðstafir ("head staves").
editions: Skj Not in Skj;