Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Halli stirði, Flokkr, 1 [Vol. 2, 338-9]

[6] hlýður skjalfa ‘the wash-strakes tremble’: The hlýða appears to have been a light plank (or strake) that when necessary could be mounted above the main planks of the hull to hinder heavy seas from spilling into the vessel (Jesch 2001a, 141-3). The reported trembling of the wash-strakes could reflect the lightness of their calibre and construction, as equally the sheer impetus of the ship on its course. Interspersed commentary on the sometimes tempestuous voyage that brings the leader or the skald to battle can be inferred to have been a standard ingredient in praise-poetry. Further examples are seen in later sts of this flokkr.


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