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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Gsind Hákdr 6I

[5-8]: Remarkable is the construction of two kennings upon the base-word Njǫrðr (nom. sg.) and Nirði (dat. sg.) ‘Njǫrðr <god>’, though cf. a similar use of Baldr in Hharð Lv 5II, continued in ÞjóðA Lv 3II. The first kenning refers to Hákon, the second to his slain opponent, Guthormr Eiríksson. The detailed analysis of the helmingr, and particularly of l. 8 sunda ‘of the inlets’, however, presents difficulties. (a) It is assumed here, with most previous eds (including ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, with differences of detail) that gen. pl. sunda forms a blood-kenning with one or other of the two kennings in the helmingr. In the construal shown above, the sword-kenning is the determinant of the blood-kenning. A variation on this is to read Njǫrðr raddar sunda hámána nadds ‘Njǫrðr of the voice of the inlets of the high moon of the spear [SHIELD > BLOOD > BATTLE > WARRIOR]’ where the shield-kenning is the determinant of the blood-kenning, but this is not a known pattern (cf. the blood-kennings in Meissner 204-5). Neither solution is unproblematic, since the battle-kenning in l. 6 and the shields-kenning in l. 7 are both logically complete without the addition of sunda ‘of the inlets’. (b) Finnur Jónsson’s analysis (1884, 90; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; tacit in Skj B; LP: hômáni, valbrandr; cf. Björn Magnússon Ólsen 1886, 192) involves two cases of tmesis: há-raddar ‘loud voice’ and val-sunda ‘corpse-inlets’, but this is unnecessary (Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 129). (c) Kock (NN §1932, modifying a solution proposed in NN §1079A) reads sunda víðra landa valbrands vápnunduðum ‘wounded by the weapon of the inlets of the wide lands of the slaughter-fire [SWORD > SHIELDS > BLOOD]’, i.e. ‘wounded by a bloody weapon’, but the syntax implicit in this postulated use of the kenning to qualify vápn ‘weapon’ is dubious (cf. Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 129).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  7. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  9. Sahlgren, Jöran. 1927-8. Eddica et Scaldica. Fornvästnordiska studier I-II. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  10. Björn Magnússon Ólsen. 1886. ‘Bemærkninger til to vers af Guthormr Sindre’. ÅNOH, 190-203.
  11. Internal references
  12. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 47.
  13. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Lausavísur 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 167-8.

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