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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eil Þdr 18III l. 2

svalg — swallowed


1. svelgja (verb): swallow



[1-2, 3, 4] svalg lyptisylg síu … hrapmunnum handa ‘swallowed the raised drink of the spark [PIECE OF IRON] … with the hurried mouths of his arms [HANDS]’: This stanza continues the food metaphors from the previous stanzas, which are expanded here into a drinking metaphor for Þórr’s and Geirrøðr’s fighting it out with red-hot iron. The metaphor encompasses the verb ‘swallowed’ for ‘caught, parried’ as well as the instr. dat. hrapmunnum ‘with the hurried mouths’. The metaphorical quality of the latter is extended by the determinant ‘of the arms’, resulting in a kenning for ‘hands’. The object of svalg ‘swallowed’, lyptisylg síu ‘raised drink of the spark [PIECE OF IRON]’ adds to the metaphorical dimension. Lyptisylg refers to a raised, filled drinking cup (Kiil 1956, 153).



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