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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. Anonymous Poems, 3. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar, 26 [Vol. 1, 1056]

[8] ǫrnfljótr ‘eagle-swift’: This unusual epithet (though cf. NN §2991) comments on the skald’s speed in composing, a common boast, especially in later poetry (Kreutzer 1977, 206-7). ‘Eagle’ may possibly allude to Óðinn (alias Bǫlverkr) taking the shape of an eagle to carry off the mead of poetry (SnE 1998, I, 4-5). If the ms. reading is rather gen. sg. ǫrnfljóts, the epithet will qualify elris glóða óss ‘alder of the embers of the estuary [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’. Finnur Jónsson in Skj B emends ǫrn to ǫrr ‘bold’ and reads fljóts ‘of the river’, providing the determinant of the gold-kenning (see Note to l. 5 óss).


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