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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 38. Óttarr svarti, 1. Hǫfuðlausn, 1 [Vol. 1, 741]

[1-2]: These lines echo the first two lines of Sigv Lv 2, the lausavísa with which Sigvatr supposedly sought service with Óláfr Haraldsson: Hlýð mínum brag, meiðir | myrkblás, þvít kannk yrkja ‘Listen to my poetry, destroyer of the dark black (steed of awnings [SHIP > WARRIOR]), because I know how to compose’ (the ship-kenning appears in Sigvatr’s l. 4). Finnur Jónsson assumes that l. 2 is simply a mistaken scribal duplication of Sigvatr’s line (and hence he does not print a l. 2 in Skj B), but, as noted below, Kock argues that Óttarr, at the start of his own poem seeking service with Óláfr, is deliberately recalling and wittily re-using Sigvatr’s call for a hearing (see also Fidjestøl 1982, 214-5); this includes the opening Hlýð ‘Listen’. Skj B suggests minni is part of the poss. pron. minn (qualifying a f. noun such as drápu in the putative lost l. 2). Kock (NN §721), however, takes minni as the noun ‘memory, recollection’, and this solution is adopted here, not least because, as Rainford (1995, 62) points out, Sigvatr uses minni in a similar sense in Víkv 1/6.


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