Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eskál Vell 2I

[2, 4] fley berg-Saxa ‘the ship (líð ‘ale’) of the rock-Saxons [GIANTS > POEM]’: This kenning for ‘poem’ contains an example of the type of word-play known as ofljóst (‘too transparent’): fley ‘ship’ is synonymous with lið/líð ‘ship’, a homonym or near homonym of líð ‘ale, drink’ (see Note to Þul Skipa 4/8III on lið ‘ship’, and see LP: 2. lið for the possibility of a variant with long vowel). The ofljóst is explained in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 14). Hence the kenning is interpreted as ‘ale of the giants’, and thus as ‘poem’ (see Marold 1994a, 475 n. 34).


  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  4. Marold, Edith. 1994a. ‘Der Skalde und sein Publikum’. In Uecker 1994, 462-76.
  5. Internal references
  6. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  7. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Skipa heiti 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 867.


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