Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 34 [Vol. 7, 266-8]

[4] kinnum (dat. pl.) ‘side-poles’: Lit. ‘cheeks’. This is the only ON occurrence of kinn ‘cheek’ in this sense, though it (and more commonly its derivative kinnungr) is used of a ship’s bow (Fritzner: kinnungr 2). The underlying idea seems to be ‘cheeks’ as parallel (or converging) members, whether side-poles (stiles) of a ladder or forward gunwales of a ship. (Cf. the synonym hlýr ‘cheek’, used metaphorically of sides of axe, blade, or ship’s bow, and, with respect to the last, Jesch 2001a, 147 construes hlýr as ‘imagining the ship as a face seen head-on’.


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