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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gestumblindi (Gestumbl)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Heiðreks gátur (Heiðr) - 37

not in Skj

Heiðreks gátur (‘Riddles of Heiðrekr’) — Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr)

Not published: do not cite (Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr))

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 5. Heiðreks gátur, Gestumblindes gåder (AII, 221-8, BII, 240-7); stanzas (if different): 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38

SkP info: VIII, 451

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

37 — Gestumbl Heiðr 37VIII (Heiðr 84)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 84 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur 37)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 451.

Hvat mælti Óðinn         í eyra Baldri,
áðr hann væri á bál hafðr?

Hvat mælti Óðinn í eyra Baldri, áðr hann væri á bál hafðr?

What did Óðinn say into the ear of Baldr, before he was brought to the pyre?

Mss: 2845(72v), 281ˣ(101r), 597bˣ(51r), R715ˣ(30r) (Heiðr)

Readings: [1] Óðinn: Óðinn corrected from Óðinn í R715ˣ    [2] Baldri: Baldrs 281ˣ, 597bˣ    [3] væri: var 281ˣ, 597bˣ, ‘veri’ R715ˣ;    bál: báli 597bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], D. 5. Heiðreks gátur 30: AII, 227, BII, 246, Skald II, 128, NN §3177; Heiðr 1672, 152, FSN 1, 487, Heiðr 1873, 262-3, 344, Heiðr 1924, 81, 140, FSGJ 2, 50, Heiðr 1960, 44; Edd. Min. 120.

Context: Before reciting the riddle, Gestumblindi says: segðu þat þá fyrst, ef þú ert hverjum konungi vitrari ‘say first then, if you are wiser than every king’.

Notes: [All]: Cf. Vafþr 54/4-6, in which Óðinn asks the same question (differently worded, though the present l. 3 and Vafþr 54/4 are identical) to win a wisdom contest with the giant Vafþrúðnir (NK 55): hvat mælti Óðinn | áðr á bál stigi | siálfr í eyra syni? ‘what did Óðinn himself say into the ear of his son before he ascended the pyre?’. — [All]: This question bears all the hallmarks of a ‘neck riddle’, according to Taylor’s definition (1951, 1): an ‘insoluble puzzle’ whose answer is known only to the questioner and with which the protagonist hopes to ‘save his neck’. — [All]: Skj, Skald and FSGJ, with varying levels of emendation (and conjecture, on Kock’s part), attempt to make Gestumblindi’s words of introduction to this stanza (see Context above) part of the verse, but they are not metrical. Skj B places the whole stanza in square brackets. — [3] hafðr ‘brought’: Edd. Min. gives of borinn ‘borne’, from paper mss, which produces an alliterating line; cf. áðr á bál of bar (Vsp 33/3); áðr á bál um berr (Bdr 11/7). Áðr hann væri á bál of borinn would be a metrical ljóðaháttr full line.

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