Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 2 [Vol. 7, 230-2]

[5, 7] ár orða ‘oar of words [TONGUE]’: Restoration of ‘orð’ based upon 399a-bˣ; <rð> confirmed by skothending. The tongue-kenning mixes oddly with the plain noun tungu ‘tongue’ (l. 7) in the same helmingr. Since ár can mean ‘abundance’ (from ‘year’s yield’, Lat. annona) as well as ‘oar’, orða ár might also play off orðgnótt ‘word-abundance’ (1/4) in the previous st., in which case the poet would be contrasting his own surfeit of words – a sin of the tongue – with the true abundance of inspired words for which he has just prayed.


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