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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 49 [Vol. 7, 619-20]

[1-4]: In skaldic poetics, the repetition of the last word of a l. at the beginning of the following l. is called dunhent ‘echoing rhymed’. See SnSt Ht sts 24, 47, and 48III (SnE 1999, 15, 22-3) and RvHbreiðm Hl sts 57, 58, 65, and 66III (Jón Helgason and Holtsmark 1941, 127-9), but, as Rudolf Meissner says (1922, 52), ‘What a difference between these school-examples and the stanzas of Lilja!’. In Lat. rhetoric, which may be the closer model here, the figure is called anadiplosis or reduplicatio (Lausberg 1998, §619; cf. e.g. the definition given by the Venerable Bede [Hurst 1975, 146] and the brief discussion in TGT 1884-6, I, 94). The ll. also exhibit climax or gradatio: the repeated word occurs first in the pret., and then as perf. participles (Lausberg 1998, §623; cf. e.g. the definitions in the Rhetorica ad Herennium [Marx 1923, 4.25.34] and Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana [Martin 1962, 123]) and polyptoton, the repetition of a word in various grammatical forms (Lausberg 1998, §§640-8; cf. e.g. the Venerable Bede [Hurst 1975, 150]. See also Laugesen 1966, 297-8, and cf. Lil 55 and 66).


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