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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (TGT) 32III

Tarrin Wills (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise 32’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 559.

Anonymous LausavísurStanzas from the Third Grammatical Treatise

text and translation

Né dýrs of far fleiri
flein-Móða segik óðar
— mælum slíkt við sælan:
‘sit heill konungr!’ — deili.

Né segik fleiri deili óðar of far {dýrs flein-Móða}; mælum slíkt við sælan: ‘sit heill konungr!’
‘I will not recount more details of the poem about the conduct of the excellent spear-Móði <god> [WARRIOR]; we [I] say this to the fortunate one: ‘be well, king!’

notes and context

This stanza follows Anon (TGT) 31 directly as the third example of antonomasia, of the type fyrir útan ǫnd ok líkam (TGT 1927, 79) ‘extrinsic to mind or body’, corresponding to the type extrinsecus ‘extrinsic’ in Donatus (Holtz 1981, 669).

Antonomasia in this case occurs by an extrinsic comparison in the word sælan ‘fortunate one’ for the king (TGT 1927, 79): Hér er sæll settr fyrir nafni konungs, ok er svá óeiginlig liking, en sæla kemr af tilfellum, ok er hér hvarki eiginlig ǫnd né líkam. Þessa fígúru kǫllu vér njarðarvǫtt í skáldskap, ok er hon þó eigi með leyfum talið ‘Here “fortunate” is used instead of the king’s name, and it is thus an improper comparison, because fortune comes from circumstance and here does not belong to either mind or body. We call this figure “sponge” in poetry but it is not counted among the [poetical] licences’. The particular grammatical sense of the native term njarðarvǫttr ‘sponge’ is not otherwise attested. For njarðarvǫttr lit. ‘Njǫrðr’s mitten’ and, by extension of meaning ‘sea-mitten’ (glossing Lat. spongia), see Fritzner: njarðarvǫttr.


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 9: AI, 598, BI, 598, Skald I, 291; SnE 1848, 196, SnE 1848-87, II, 166-7, 422, III, 149, TGT 1884, 107, 222-3, TGT 1927, 79, 106.


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