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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eil Þdr 11III

[1, 2] djúpakǫrn dolgs ‘the sea-acorns [STONES] of animosity [HEARTS]’: Hearts are often paraphrased in kennings with the base-word ‘stone’ (Meissner 138). Here, the base-word is replaced by the kenning ‘sea-acorns’ whose referent is ‘stones’. Resorting to tmesis by combining djúp- with ‑rǫst (djúp-rǫst, so Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1851, 8, 14) or ‑fall (djúp-fall, so Finnur Jónsson 1900b, 389; Skj B, followed by Davidson 1983, 608) is unnecessary. The determinant of djúpakǫrn is dolgs ‘of animosity’, and just like the determinant ‘valour’ in the heart-kenning steinn þróttar ‘stone of valour’ (l. 8), it refers to an intense feeling (cf. Meissner 138). The present interpretation follows ms. R, in which the first two words of l. 2 are separate. Mss and W have what would be the metrically more correct cpd dolgvamms ‘of hostile disgrace’ for this A2k-line (on the filler of this type of line, see Gade 1995a, 119). A cpd like ‘disgrace of animosity’ (Kiil 1956, 129), however, is not a suitable determinant for a heart-kenning that refers to Þórr’s and Þjálfi’s hearts. The cpd dolgvamms could be combined with firar ‘men’, the base-word of the giant-kenning (as in NN §454), but the heart-kenning would then lose its determinant because djúpakǫrn ‘acorns of the deep’ alone cannot be a kenning for ‘hearts’ (NN §454).


  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. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1995a. The Structure of Old Norse dróttkvætt Poetry. Islandica 49. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  6. Davidson, Daphne L. 1983. ‘Earl Hákon and his Poets’. D. Phil. thesis. Oxford.
  7. Finnur Jónsson. 1900b. ‘Þórsdrápa Eilífs Goðrúnarsonar’. Oversigt over det Kgl. Danske videnskabernes selskabs forhandlinger 1900, 369-410.
  8. Kiil, Vilhelm. 1956. ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson’s Þórsdrápa’. ANF 71, 89-167.
  9. Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 1851. Tvö brot af Haustlaung og Þórsdrápa. Reykjavík: Prentað á kostnað skólasjóðsins.


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