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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 28. Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, 2. Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar, 16 [Vol. 1, 422]

[8] sunds ‘of the sea’: It is not obvious where this gen. noun fits in the syntax. (a) In the Text above, sunds forms an overloaded ship-kenning with snœrivitni, ‘(on the) cable-wolf of the sea’. Parallels, albeit somewhat distant ones, are assembled at Meissner 42. (b) Following Ólafur Halldórsson (ÍF 25), sunds could be taken as an adverbial gen. of direction (cf. NS §141); a possible parallel is Gsind Hákdr 6/8 sunda, if this is adverbial ‘through sounds’ (so Poole 2004). (c) Sunds could mean ‘swimming’. Hkr seems to take this as a reference to Þorkell’s means of escape; cf. Hkr’s reading af in l. 7, suggesting Þorkell flees from, rather than on, the ship (ÍF 26; Hkr 1991; cf. ÍF 29), while Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI 3) suggested snotr sunds ‘wise (i.e. skilled) at swimming’ (see Hkr 1893-1901, IV for Finnur Jónsson’s response).


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