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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 43 [Vol. 7, 325-6]

[2] skjálfandi á sjónum ‘trembling in [my] eyes’: Sjónir (f. pl.) means ‘eyes’ or ‘sight’, though it is possible to take it, as Björn M. Ólsen does (1915, 44) as dat. sg. of sjór ‘sea’. Skjálfandi is universal in the mss; it could refer to sól ‘sun’ (f. acc. sg.) or ek ‘I’ (masc. nom. sg.); á is in almost all mss; Skj B omits it, and emends l. 2 to sjónum skjalfǫndum, translated med bævende öjne ‘with trembling eyes’; Skald includes á at the end of l. 1, while Falk, Björn M. Ólsen and Njörður Njarðvík retain á (as here) in l. 2. While the majority of eds conclude with Skj B that the narrator’s sight is trembling, Falk (1914a, 23) suggests that the sun appears to tremble to the frightened narrator, while Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 43) contends that the image is naturalistic; the sun appears to shiver as it sinks into the sea.


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