Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Fourth Grammatical Treatise 38’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 617.
Stanzas 38-41 illustrate various types of repetition, called epimone (FoGT: epimenon). This figure appears in both the Doctrinale (Reichling 1893, 177-8, ll. 2630-3) and the Graecismus (Wrobel 1887, 5, ll. 34-6). The Graecismus (ibid., 11-12, ll. 3-12) also deals with repetition of single words, as in the FoGT examples, in its chapter on the colours of rhetoric. As Longo (FoGT 2004, 218) has noted, both the Doctrinale and the prose of FoGT emphasise the frequency with which these figures appear in religious writings (theologia). However, FoGT is at pains to align the different kinds of repetition illustrated in sts 38-41 with the indigenous skaldic verse-forms called in SnSt Ht dunhent ‘echoing-rhymed’, iðurmælt ‘repeatedly spoken’ and greppaminni ‘poets’ reminder’, and does so with considerable ingenuity (see Longo 2006b for a detailed analysis). The metre runhent is used in all four stanzas (fornyrðislag Type B).
Eg em synda bót
og sæmdar hót;
eg birti sál;
eg bæti mál.
Eg em bót synda og hót sæmdar; eg birti sál; eg bæti mál.
‘I am the remedy of sins and the mark of honour; I illuminate the soul; I improve speech.’
See Introduction to sts 38-41. Stanza 38 illustrates repetition of single words at the beginnings of lines, which the prose text compares to the skaldic verse-form greppaminni ‘poets’ reminder’. Greppaminni, however, as illustrated in SnSt Ht 40, is in dróttkvætt metre and is characterised by a series of questions posed in the first helmingr and answered in the second.
Although each of sts 38-41 is free-standing, both syntactically and in terms of sense, sts 38 and 41 can be understood to form an outer semantic envelope, as it were, with their sentiments only appropriate as the words of Christ to mankind. Stanzas 39 and 40 also belong together in sense and can be read as referring to the properties of heaven.
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.
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