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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (LaufE) 1III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Laufás Edda 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 637.

Anonymous LausavísurStanzas from Laufás Edda


These anonymous stanzas (Anon (LaufE) 1-5) are recorded in both redactions of LaufE (mss papp10ˣ (main ms.), 2368ˣ, 743ˣ) in the section on kennings for ‘woman’, and they were also copied in the same prose environment from a LaufE ms. in RE 1665(Ji2), which has no independent value. All of the stanzas are cited to illustrate various types of base-words used in women-kennings.

text and translation

Hvé fyr leik, en lauka
Lofn kunni þat stofna,
stórvænn, styrjar kenni,
stendr línapaldr mínum.

Hvé {stórvænn línapaldr} stendr fyr leik mínum, en {Lofn lauka} kunni stofna þat {kenni styrjar}.
‘How the mightily fair linen-apple-tree [WOMAN] prevents my pleasure, and the Lofn <goddess> of leeks [WOMAN] could inflict that on the master of battle [WARRIOR].

notes and context

The helmingr is one of two half-stanzas cited to illustrate base-words in women-kennings that are masculine tree-names, here, apaldr ‘apple-tree’. The half-stanza is cited immediately before Ólhelg Lv 2I, and in 2368ˣ the two helmingar are written as one stanza.

Because the stanza begins with hvé ‘how’, it is likely to be the second helmingr of a stanza whose first helmingr is now missing. — This interpretation follows Skj B. To achieve a more straightforward word order, Kock (Skald; NN §1234) emends stórvænn (m. nom. sg.) ‘mightily fair’ (l. 3) to stórvæn (f. nom. sg.), and takes it with Lofn lauka ‘the Lofn of leeks’ (ll. 1-2). — [3]: This line is composed in the skjálfhent variant of dróttkvætt (see SnSt Ht 35/3, 7).



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 32: AI, 600, BI, 600, Skald I, 292, NN §1234; SnE 1848-87, II, 631, III, 196-7, LaufE 1979, 292, 376.


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