Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. Anonymous Poems, 3. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar, 27 [Vol. 1, 1058]

[4] fagrbjór* ‘beautiful beer [poetry]’: The mention of skǫld ‘poets’ in l. 3 suggests the metaphor ‘poetry as alcoholic drink’ is intended here, so the gen. sg. ms. reading ‘fagr biors’ is unlikely to be correct, as bjórr m. ‘beer’ would be the base-word of any such kenning. (a) Emendation to acc. sg. fagrbjór yields a half-kenning for ‘poetry’, albeit unparalleled, and this is tentatively adopted here. (b) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B (followed by Kock in Skald) emends tókumsk ‘began’ to Rǫgnis. This produces a conventional poetry-kenning, fagrbjór Rǫgnis ‘beautiful beer of Rǫgnir <= Óðinn>’, and supplies a hending, albeit only inexact (fag- : Rǫg-). An vér in l. 4 must then be taken with friðri skǫld: ‘finer poets than we’.


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