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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hál 2I l. 9

sævar — of the sea


sjór (noun m.): sea



[9] sævar beins ‘of the bone of the sea [ROCK]’: This belongs to a kenning type also found in Þjóð Yt (e.g. 23/6). Its application within the stanza has proved difficult to determine. (a) Beins sævar is construed here with manheimum ‘maiden-lands’ in l. 6 to form an inverted kenning for Jǫtunheimar (‘Giant-lands’) (Poole 2007b, 165). In Gylf (SnE 2005, 23) Skaði is said to have her home in the mountains, in contrast to her first husband Njǫrðr, who is at home by the sea, and this allows the giantess-kenning to be equated with jǫtunn, normally ‘giant’ rather than ‘giantess’. The elements of the extended kenning cross the boundary between helmingar, as also, e.g., in st. 9/2, 5. (b) Björn Magnússon Ólsen (1902, 198) treats ll. 1-8 and 9-12 as a unity, as in this edn, but posits that beins sævar joins with ǫndurdís ‘ski-goddess’ to form a kenning for Skaði as giantess. However, such use of a double determinant (ǫndur- and beins sævar) would be hard to parallel. (c) Other eds supposed that beins sævar referred back to a lost part of the stanza (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; Noreen 1921, 59-62; ÍF 26, 22 n.; Krause 1990; Hkr 1991), but there is no reason to postulate such a loss.



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