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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Sól 54VII

Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 54’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 333-4.

Anonymous PoemsSólarljóð
535455

Vestan ‘From the west’

vestan (prep.): from the west

[1] Vestan: vitar 738ˣ, 214ˣ

notes

[1] vestan ‘from the west’: See Note to 55/2 for the significance of cardinal directions in the poem.

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fljúga ‘flying’

fljúga (verb): fly

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vánar ‘of expectation’

ván (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -/-u; -ir): hope, expectation < vánardreki (noun m.)

notes

[2] vánardreka ‘dragon of expectation’: The meaning of vánar- is not entirely clear; presumably the dragon expects to prey on souls. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 50-1) takes Ván as a river-heiti, as in Grí 28/8, and interprets the creature as Leviathan (Job XLI). The number of dragons is also unclear; more than one dragon is suggested by þeir skóku ‘they shook’ in l. 4, but fell ‘fell’ in l. 3 is universally sg. in the mss.

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dreka ‘a dragon’

dreki (noun m.; °-a; -ar): dragon, dragon-ship < vánardreki (noun m.)

notes

[2] vánardreka ‘dragon of expectation’: The meaning of vánar- is not entirely clear; presumably the dragon expects to prey on souls. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 50-1) takes Ván as a river-heiti, as in Grí 28/8, and interprets the creature as Leviathan (Job XLI). The number of dragons is also unclear; more than one dragon is suggested by þeir skóku ‘they shook’ in l. 4, but fell ‘fell’ in l. 3 is universally sg. in the mss.

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fell ‘it landed’

falla (verb): fall

[3] fell: felli 10575ˣ

notes

[3] fell á götu Glævalds ‘fell on Glævaldr’s road’: Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 83-4) suggests that it is the narrator’s soul which lands there, hence the sg. verb. Glævaldr has been taken by most eds as an otherwise unknown pers. n., though Skj B and LP: glævaldr take it as a common noun cpd of uncertain meaning, suggesting the first element is either associated with glær ‘sea’ or with glær adj. ‘transparent, clear, shining’. Bugge (1867, 366) tentatively suggests glæv-ellds ‘of glowing flame’. Following Bugge, Falk (1914, 31-2) reads fella glævalds götu, translating efterlatende en lysende ildstripe ‘leaving a glowing trail’, eliminating the sg. verb.

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á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[3] fell á götu Glævalds ‘fell on Glævaldr’s road’: Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 83-4) suggests that it is the narrator’s soul which lands there, hence the sg. verb. Glævaldr has been taken by most eds as an otherwise unknown pers. n., though Skj B and LP: glævaldr take it as a common noun cpd of uncertain meaning, suggesting the first element is either associated with glær ‘sea’ or with glær adj. ‘transparent, clear, shining’. Bugge (1867, 366) tentatively suggests glæv-ellds ‘of glowing flame’. Following Bugge, Falk (1914, 31-2) reads fella glævalds götu, translating efterlatende en lysende ildstripe ‘leaving a glowing trail’, eliminating the sg. verb.

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Glævalds ‘Glævaldr’s’

glævaldr (noun m.): glævaldr

notes

[3] fell á götu Glævalds ‘fell on Glævaldr’s road’: Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 83-4) suggests that it is the narrator’s soul which lands there, hence the sg. verb. Glævaldr has been taken by most eds as an otherwise unknown pers. n., though Skj B and LP: glævaldr take it as a common noun cpd of uncertain meaning, suggesting the first element is either associated with glær ‘sea’ or with glær adj. ‘transparent, clear, shining’. Bugge (1867, 366) tentatively suggests glæv-ellds ‘of glowing flame’. Following Bugge, Falk (1914, 31-2) reads fella glævalds götu, translating efterlatende en lysende ildstripe ‘leaving a glowing trail’, eliminating the sg. verb.

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götu ‘road’

gata (noun f.): path, road

notes

[3] fell á götu Glævalds ‘fell on Glævaldr’s road’: Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 83-4) suggests that it is the narrator’s soul which lands there, hence the sg. verb. Glævaldr has been taken by most eds as an otherwise unknown pers. n., though Skj B and LP: glævaldr take it as a common noun cpd of uncertain meaning, suggesting the first element is either associated with glær ‘sea’ or with glær adj. ‘transparent, clear, shining’. Bugge (1867, 366) tentatively suggests glæv-ellds ‘of glowing flame’. Following Bugge, Falk (1914, 31-2) reads fella glævalds götu, translating efterlatende en lysende ildstripe ‘leaving a glowing trail’, eliminating the sg. verb.

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þeir ‘they’

1. sá (pron.; °gen. þess, dat. þeim, acc. þann; f. sú, gen. þeirrar, acc. þá; n. þat, dat. því; pl. m. þeir, f. þǽ---): that (one), those

[4] þeir skóku: skóku þeir 10575ˣ

notes

[4] þeir skóku ‘they shook’: Skj B and Skald emend the pl. verb to sg. skók. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 84) explains the pl. by assuming that the dragon of l. 2 is accompanied by others. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 51) suggests that the pl. verb refers both to the vánardreki and to Glævaldr, also envisaged as a winged being. Njörður Njarðvik (1991, 194) notes earlier eds’ comparison of the dragon with the dragon of Revelations XII. Many visions have similar dragon-like beasts who devour souls, e.g. Dugg (Cahill 1983, 58-61).

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skóku ‘shook’

2. skaka (verb): shake

[4] þeir skóku: skóku þeir 10575ˣ

notes

[4] þeir skóku ‘they shook’: Skj B and Skald emend the pl. verb to sg. skók. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 84) explains the pl. by assuming that the dragon of l. 2 is accompanied by others. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 51) suggests that the pl. verb refers both to the vánardreki and to Glævaldr, also envisaged as a winged being. Njörður Njarðvik (1991, 194) notes earlier eds’ comparison of the dragon with the dragon of Revelations XII. Many visions have similar dragon-like beasts who devour souls, e.g. Dugg (Cahill 1983, 58-61).

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víða ‘widely apart’

1. víða (adv.): widely

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þótti ‘seemed’

2. þykkja (verb): seem, think

[5] þótti mér: þótti meir 738ˣ, mér þótti 2797ˣ

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mér ‘to me’

ek (pron.; °mín, dat. mér, acc. mik): I, me

[5] þótti mér: þótti meir 738ˣ, mér þótti 2797ˣ

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[1-2]: Skj B and Skald divide these ll. thus: Vestan sák | fljúga vánardreka.

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