Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 3. Austrfararvísur, 2 [Vol. 1, 585]

[2] aptrhvarf ‘turning back’: Ternström (1871, 42-3) takes the word to refer to the return journey, after they have reached their destination, but this requires less probable word order, with þvít ‘because’ in l. 1 introducing not the clause headed by óðumk ‘I dreaded’ but the intercalary clause. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 185) also assumes this meaning for aptrhvarf, but he surmises, contradicting Snorri’s account, that the party alternately dragged and rowed the boat across Norway to Eda in Värmland and left it there (see also Noreen 1922a, 74, and cf. Beckman 1923, 323-4; Beckman 1934, 207-8). Thus he is able to construe þvít with óðumk, taking the sense of the passage to be that Sigvatr dreaded the prospect of a return journey without a boat. This explains admirably the logical connection between the clauses beginning with Létk and þvít, but it obscures the logical ties between these clauses and the rest of the stanza.

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