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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. Anonymous Poems, 1. Eiríksmál, 3 [Vol. 1, 1008]

[1] hvat þrymr þar * ‘what is making a din there’: Here the metre changes from málaháttr to ljóðaháttr. The stanza is spoken by Bragi, god of poetry (named in st. 4/2), but the words þar Bragi ‘there Bragi’ in the mss have been variously treated by eds. (a) Retaining this reading, several eds regard ll. 1-3 as spoken by Óðinn, addressing Bragi (so Müller 1837, 333, Munch and Unger 1847, 114, Möbius 1860, Wisén 1870, 51, Holthausen 1896, Skj B, Skald, Lindquist 1929, 8, and presumably Fsk 1902-3). (b) Árni Magnússon (in 761bˣ) indicates his belief that kvað ‘spoke’ has dropped out before Bragi, and in this he is followed by Jón Helgason (1968) and ÍF 29. This makes better sense, as otherwise Óðinn would seem to be asking a question to which he already knows the answer (a problem remarked by von See 1963, 114). It also makes better sense of the implication in st. 4/2 that Bragi has just spoken. (c) Assuming kvað has indeed dropped out, however, kvað Bragi is to be regarded as inorganic, and as with the other identifications of speakers it is omitted here (see Introduction to the poem).


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