Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 9VII l. 3

blíðan — joyful


blíðr (adj.; °n. sg. nom. & acc. blítt/blíðt; compar. -ari, superl. -astr): gentle, happy


[3] blíðan: bliðr 399a‑bˣ


[3] blíðan ‘joyful’: 399a-bˣ and all previous eds, except Rydberg (1907, 13 and 48), read the superscript <n> (for ‑an, i.e. acc. m. adj.; cf. æztan 13/7, sáran 16/2) as an ‘r/er’-abbreviation, i.e. blíðr or (so Skald) blíðir. To avoid having the l. then end with a stressed syllable (blíðr), Sveinbjörn Egilsson, followed by Konráð Gíslason (in Nj 1875-8, II.1, 30) and Skj B, transposes to blíðr ok hryggr bæði, thus allowing the l. to end with a trochee. Konráð Gíslason and Skj B also add a second ok (between hryggr and bæði) to give the l. six syllables. NN §1390 (cf. Skald), choosing blíðir (construed as an otherwise unattested m. noun ‘joyful one’) over blíðr, maintains the ms. word order, which allows six syllables and a final trochee. Sensing the need for contrasting pairs, Konráð Gíslason also emends glaðr ‘glad’ (l. 4) to myrkr ‘dark’ (i.e. blíðr ok hryggr | bjartr ok myrkr ‘joyful and sorrowful, bright and dark’); Skj B follows this thinking but prefers dapr ‘downcast’. Although the symmetry is appealing, the point seems to be that the joy (bjartr ok glaðr ‘bright/happy and glad’ and blíðan hróðr ‘joyful encomium’) outweighs the sorrow, though the subject of the Crucifixion causes the poet to experience both (cf. Árni Gd 1/2IV dyggur ok bjartur í mínu hjarta, amplified in 24/5-8).



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