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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gestumbl Heiðr 9VIII (Heiðr 56) l. 4

Ókyrrir — unquiet


ókyrr (adj.)


[4] Ókyrrir: so 281ˣ, 597bˣ, ókvikvir 2845, ok ókyrrir corrected from ‘oku okirrir’ in the hand of JR R715ˣ


[4] ókyrrir ‘unquiet’: A hap. leg. in poetry. The main ms. has here ókvikvir ‘unliving’, which is an acceptable alternative and favoured by Skj B, Skald, FSGJ and Heiðr 1960. However, the H-redaction texts and R715ˣ are in agreement on the reading chosen here, which is also preferable in terms of sense, referring to the noise made by bellows and creating a more effective riddling paradox with l. 5, in that the object is ‘unquiet’ but andalausir ‘without breath’. This reading is also preferred in Edd. Min. It corresponds less well with the solution given in 2845 (eru þeir dauðir ‘they are dead’), but the argument is circular since the prose in the H-redaction texts and R715ˣ does not specifically state the bellows are dead; indeed the prose in R715ˣ repeats the word ókyrrir (Heiðr 1924, 137) – although this, equally, could be influenced by the verse.



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