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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 3. Austrfararvísur, 4 [Vol. 1, 589]

[4] niðrlútt ‘down-bent’: It is difficult to determine the precise implication of the word, though it is reminiscent of niðrbjúgt (nef) ‘down-curved (nose)’ in 10/5 (NK 281) and Stefnir Lv 1/3 (see also Note ad loc.). (a) Here niðrlútt is regarded as qualifying nef ‘nose’ in l. 3. It could be a straightforward description of Sigvatr’s nose, or it could mean that he stoops to pry. For a somewhat similar construction, with an ironic adj. applied to a bodily feature, cf. Sigv Lv 13/3-4 hilmis haus ófalan ‘the not-for-sale skull of the ruler’. (b) Noreen (1923, 37) sees niðrlútt as an adverbial n.; so also seemingly ÍF 27, where Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson speculates that the door was low, and Sigvatr poked his nose into the opening above it. (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), Kock (Skald) and some others (including Fms) adopt the reading niðrlútr from 325VI and construe it with spurðumk ‘I enquired’ in l. 2. Jón Skaptason (1983, 85) reads niðrlútr and renders it ‘downcast’.


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