Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 3. Magnússdrápa, 3 [Vol. 2, 211-12]

[7-8] í geystu veðri gífrs ‘in [their] troubled gale of the troll-woman [MIND]’: Geystr, lit. ‘made to rush, rushing, aroused’, can mean ‘disturbed, troubled, upset’ in a figurative sense (see Fritzner: geystr 2); it can also mean ‘powerful’, as when applied to the wolf’s greed in Skarp Lv 5/7V. Veðri (ms. ‘vedr’) is a small emendation necessary to metre and syntax. The dat. case is indicated by the prep. í and the n. dat. sg. adj. geystu. Kennings on the pattern ‘wind of the troll-woman’ can refer either to ‘mind, thought’ or to ‘courage’ (as in Gsind Hákdr 8I). See also Stúfr Stúfdr 1/3. Given the possible meanings of geystr and veðr gífrs, the phrase as a whole could refer (a) to the gramr ‘prince’ (Magnús) and mean ‘in his raging, mighty spirit’, or (b) to the ferð Jaðarbyggva ‘the host of the people of Jæren’ and mean ‘in their troubled thoughts’. It was suggested above that ferð is likely to be the implied subject of bað in l. 7. Í geystu veðri gífrs then yields the best sense if it is construed with (the understood) ferð, and this analysis is followed here (as also Skald and NN).


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