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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (TGT) 30III

Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise 30’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 558.

Anonymous LausavísurStanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise

text and translation

Braut stǫkk bauga neytir
bleikr frá sverða leiki.

{Neytir bauga} stǫkk, bleikr, braut frá {leiki sverða}.
‘The enjoyer of rings [MAN] fled, pale, away from the play of swords [BATTLE].

notes and context

Cited as a second example of metonymia (‘metanomie’) following a lacuna in W, the only ms. at this point (TGT 1927, 78): Hinn sétti háttr metanomíe er þat at setja eptir-komanda hlut fyrir því sem fyrri verðr ‘The sixth type of metonymy is to place something that follows instead of that which comes before’. As this is only the second example of this figure but the ms. indicates it was originally the sixth, the term must have been introduced in a now-lost section of W along with four other examples illustrating different forms of metonymy.

Here metonymy occurs in the use of bleikr ‘pale’ as the effect of being afraid, the cause (TGT 1927, 78): Hér er bleikr kallaðr hræddr, þvíat bliknan kemr eptir hræzlu sem roði eptir skǫmm ok er framfæring máls milli bleiks ok óttafulls, en óeiginlig líking, þvíat bliknan heyrir til líkams en hræzla til andar ‘Here “pale” is used for “afraid,” because paleness comes from fear just as blushing from shame and there is transfer of meaning between pale and fearful, but it is an improper comparison because paleness belongs to the body and fear to the mind’.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], C. Vers om ubestemmelige personer og begivenheder 14: AI, 598, BI, 598, Skald I, 292; SnE 1848, 195, SnE 1848-87, II, 166-7, 421, III, 149, TGT 1884, 106, 222, TGT 1927, 78, 106.


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