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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eyv Hák 8I

[5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81).

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 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  8. Krause, Arnulf, ed. 1990. Die Dichtung des Eyvindr skáldaspillir: Edition-Kommentar-Untersuchungen. Altnordische Bibliothek 10. Leverkusen: Literaturverlag Norden Mark Reinhardt.
  9. Lie, Hallvard. 1957. ‘Natur’ og ‘unatur’ i skaldekunsten. Avhandlinger utgitt av Det norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo, II. Hist.-filos. kl., no. 1. Oslo: Aschehoug. Rpt. in Lie 1982, 201-315.
  10. Sahlgren, Jöran. 1927-8. Eddica et Scaldica. Fornvästnordiska studier I-II. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  11. Internal references
  12. Not published: do not cite (ÚlfrU Lv 1V (Nj 38))

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