Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur, 13 [Vol. 2, 590-1]

[All]: Both this st. and Oddi Lv 1 are interpreted here as referring to a wall-hanging that depicts a warrior prepared to attack a person or persons unknown. Rǫgnvaldr’s st. seems to make the point that, because of the static nature of the image, the warrior will never carry out his threat, however angry he gets. Oddi’s st. has more detail (the warrior is standing by a door, presumably to attack whoever comes out) and the poet enters into the spirit of the pictorial narrative by assuming an ongoing, rather than a static, situation. Detailed discussion of both sts, including previous interpretations and new readings of both, is offered by Poole 2006. The st. has clearly suffered in transmission and is impossible to construe without some kind of emendation; the interpretation offered here is one of several conceivable.


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