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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 49. Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld (biog. vol. 5), Lausavísur, 18 [Vol. 1, 829]

[8] ef ek má valda ‘if I can have my way’: Previous eds have generally construed this, as here, with the second of the two clauses in the second helmingr, though it seems to make little sense for the poet to say so emphatically that he wishes to burn down thorns, and Finnur Jónsson (1932-3, 72) later changed his mind and took the ef-clause with the taki-clause. Possibly klungri ‘thorns’ had some specific sense more related to settlements, such as ‘enclosure’, or else a figurative sense relating to the throng of hostile farmers and the problem they present. Such a reading might be supported by the proverbial ring of skal ‘shall’ in l. 7.


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