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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 1VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 7.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
12

óð ‘poetry’

1. óðr (noun m.): poem

[1] óð: so Bb, A, orð Flat, W

notes

[1] óð ‘poetry’: From the point of view of meaning, orð ‘words’ is as good a reading as óð ‘poetry’, but óð assonates nicely with the syllables containing vowel + <ð> in ll. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7.

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alls ‘of all’

allr (adj.): all

kennings

ins snjalla kjósanda valdanda ráðanda alls.
‘of the eloquent chooser ruler of all. ’
   = God

the eloquent chooser ruler of all. → God
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alls ‘of all’

allr (adj.): all

kennings

ins snjalla kjósanda valdanda ráðanda alls.
‘of the eloquent chooser ruler of all. ’
   = God

the eloquent chooser ruler of all. → God
Close

alls ‘of all’

allr (adj.): all

kennings

ins snjalla kjósanda valdanda ráðanda alls.
‘of the eloquent chooser ruler of all. ’
   = God

the eloquent chooser ruler of all. → God
Close

kjósanda ‘chooser’

kjósandi (noun m.): [chooser]

kennings

kjósanda alls.
‘chooser of all. ’
   = God

the eloquent chooser ruler of all. → God
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valdanda ‘ruler’

2. Valdandi (noun m.): [ruler]

kennings

valdanda alls.
‘ruler of all. ’
   = God

the eloquent chooser ruler of all. → God
Close

ráðanda ‘ruler’

ráðandi (noun m.; °-a; ráðendr): ruler

[2] ráðanda: valdanda Bb, kjósanda A, W

kennings

ins snjalla ráðanda alls.
‘of the eloquent ruler of all. ’
   = God

the eloquent chooser ruler of all. → God

notes

[2] ráðanda ‘ruler’: Is preferable to valdanda ‘having the power to control’ and kjósanda ‘choosing, deciding’, which has fatalistic overtones, inappropriate in a Christian context (cf. Vsp 20/10). Ráðanda makes it clear that God is ruling, rather than merely asserting that God is all-powerful, and it is commonly used of God in theological texts.

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ins ‘of the’

2. inn (art.): the

kennings

ins snjalla ráðanda alls.
‘of the eloquent ruler of all. ’
   = God

the eloquent chooser ruler of all. → God
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snjalla ‘eloquent’

snjallr (adj.): quick, resourceful, bold

[2] snjalla: ljósa A, W

kennings

ins snjalla ráðanda alls.
‘of the eloquent ruler of all. ’
   = God

the eloquent chooser ruler of all. → God
Close

vels ‘is indeed’

vel (adv.): well, very

[3] vels (‘vel er’): mjǫk er Bb, A, ‘mi[...]’ W

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góða ‘the goodwill’

góði (noun m.): [goodwill]

[3] góða: greiða Bb

Close

þrenning ‘The Trinity’

þrenning (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-): the Trinity

notes

[4] þrenning ‘Trinity’: An appropriate opening, given that the Trondheim cathedral, in which Einarr delivered his drápa, was dedicated to the Holy Trinity (see Louis-Jensen 1977, 148).

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geisli ‘beam’

geisli (noun m.): beam of light

kennings

Gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar
‘The battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy ’
   = Christ/Óláfr

the sun of mercy → God
The battle-strong beam of GOD → Christ/Óláfr

notes

[5, 6, 8] gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar ‘the battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy’: This kenning has as its referent both Christ and Óláfr. God is the sun and Christ its sunbeam, but the poet also identifies Óláfr with Christ through a process of typology developed in sts 1-6 (see further Chase 2003 and 2005, 21-7 and 124).

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gunn ‘The battle’

gunnr (noun f.): battle < gunnǫflugr (adj.)

kennings

Gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar
‘The battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy ’
   = Christ/Óláfr

the sun of mercy → God
The battle-strong beam of GOD → Christ/Óláfr

notes

[5, 6, 8] gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar ‘the battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy’: This kenning has as its referent both Christ and Óláfr. God is the sun and Christ its sunbeam, but the poet also identifies Óláfr with Christ through a process of typology developed in sts 1-6 (see further Chase 2003 and 2005, 21-7 and 124).

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ǫflugr ‘strong’

ǫflugr (adj.): mighty, strong < gunnǫflugr (adj.)

kennings

Gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar
‘The battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy ’
   = Christ/Óláfr

the sun of mercy → God
The battle-strong beam of GOD → Christ/Óláfr

notes

[5, 6, 8] gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar ‘the battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy’: This kenning has as its referent both Christ and Óláfr. God is the sun and Christ its sunbeam, but the poet also identifies Óláfr with Christ through a process of typology developed in sts 1-6 (see further Chase 2003 and 2005, 21-7 and 124).

Close

miskunnar ‘of mercy’

miskunn (noun f.; °-ar; gen. -a): forgiveness, mercy, grace

kennings

Gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar
‘The battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy ’
   = Christ/Óláfr

the sun of mercy → God
The battle-strong beam of GOD → Christ/Óláfr

notes

[5, 6, 8] gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar ‘the battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy’: This kenning has as its referent both Christ and Óláfr. God is the sun and Christ its sunbeam, but the poet also identifies Óláfr with Christ through a process of typology developed in sts 1-6 (see further Chase 2003 and 2005, 21-7 and 124).

Close

miskunnar ‘of mercy’

miskunn (noun f.; °-ar; gen. -a): forgiveness, mercy, grace

kennings

Gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar
‘The battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy ’
   = Christ/Óláfr

the sun of mercy → God
The battle-strong beam of GOD → Christ/Óláfr

notes

[5, 6, 8] gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar ‘the battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy’: This kenning has as its referent both Christ and Óláfr. God is the sun and Christ its sunbeam, but the poet also identifies Óláfr with Christ through a process of typology developed in sts 1-6 (see further Chase 2003 and 2005, 21-7 and 124).

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ítrum ‘to glorious’

ítr (adj.): glorious

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Óláfi ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

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sólar ‘of the sun’

sól (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir): sun

kennings

Gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar
‘The battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy ’
   = Christ/Óláfr

the sun of mercy → God
The battle-strong beam of GOD → Christ/Óláfr

notes

[5, 6, 8] gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar ‘the battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy’: This kenning has as its referent both Christ and Óláfr. God is the sun and Christ its sunbeam, but the poet also identifies Óláfr with Christ through a process of typology developed in sts 1-6 (see further Chase 2003 and 2005, 21-7 and 124).

Close

sólar ‘of the sun’

sól (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir): sun

kennings

Gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar
‘The battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy ’
   = Christ/Óláfr

the sun of mercy → God
The battle-strong beam of GOD → Christ/Óláfr

notes

[5, 6, 8] gunnǫflugr geisli sólar miskunnar ‘the battle-strong beam of the sun of mercy’: This kenning has as its referent both Christ and Óláfr. God is the sun and Christ its sunbeam, but the poet also identifies Óláfr with Christ through a process of typology developed in sts 1-6 (see further Chase 2003 and 2005, 21-7 and 124).

Close

Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Lines 1-4 of st. 1 are cited by Óláfr Þórðarson in TGT (c. 1250) in illustration of the rhetorical figure of parenthesis, which Óláfr defines as ‘the interruption of a sentence by an interpolated clause’ and (referring to Einarr’s st.) ‘here a second clause is interpolated and brought to a conclusion, before the first clause is ended’. He says that this figure always occurs in the verse-type that ‘we’ call stælt ‘inlaid’ or álagsháttr ‘extension form’, both terms Snorri Sturluson employs in Ht (SnE 1999, 10 and 16).

In the reading of sts 1-2 offered here, st. 2 is syntactically in apposition to sólar (gen. sg.) ‘of the sun’ of 1/8, and the two sts (to 2/4) thus constitute a single complex sentence interspersed with intercalary clauses.

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