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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 5. Stanzas about Haraldr Sigurðarson’s leiðangr, 4 [Vol. 2, 154-5]

[3, 4] þars hár heldr sjau tøgum ára til varra ‘where the oarport holds [each of] the seventy oars in place for the stroke [lit. strokes]’: The mix of sg. (hár heldr ‘oarport holds’) and pl. sjau tøgum ára til varra ‘seventy oars in place for the strokes’ is not unusual in skaldic poetry. As Jesch points out (2001, 155), hár ‘oarport, hole in the upper gunwale supporting the oar’, sometimes refers more broadly to the space occupied by the oarsman (it is taken as the whole ship in ÍF 28), and vǫrr ‘stroke, pull of the oar’ to the sea, but here the more precise meanings are likely. Finnur Jónsson took til varra as a reference to arriving at the landing-stage (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B).


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