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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 36I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 36’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 328.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
353637

Goll ‘The gold’

gull (noun n.): gold < gullsendir (noun m.): [gold-dispenser]

[1] Gollsendir lætr: ‘[…]l sendir l[…]tr’ U

kennings

Gollsendir
‘The gold-distributor ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Einarr, I

The gold-distributor → GENEROUS MAN = Einarr, I

notes

[1] gollsendir ‘the gold-distributor [GENEROUS MAN = Einarr, I]’: (a) A kenning designating someone other than a ruler as a ‘generous man’ is unusual in a C10th drápa, but there is a parallel in Jór Send 5/1, where the poet Guthormr sindri is referred to as stríðir hringa ‘enemy of rings [GENEROUS MAN]’. (b) Ohlmarks (1958, 387-8) and Davidson (1983, 396-8), following Kock (NN §410), take a different approach, reading Gollsendir lætr hljót mjaðar Yggs njóta grundar ... ‘The gold-distributor [GENEROUS MAN = Hákon jarl] lets the owner of the mead of Yggr [POEM > POET] enjoy land ...’. However, there is little or no evidence for skalds being rewarded with land.

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sendir ‘distributor’

sendir (noun m.): sender, distributor < gullsendir (noun m.): [gold-dispenser]

[1] Gollsendir lætr: ‘[…]l sendir l[…]tr’ U

kennings

Gollsendir
‘The gold-distributor ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Einarr, I

The gold-distributor → GENEROUS MAN = Einarr, I

notes

[1] gollsendir ‘the gold-distributor [GENEROUS MAN = Einarr, I]’: (a) A kenning designating someone other than a ruler as a ‘generous man’ is unusual in a C10th drápa, but there is a parallel in Jór Send 5/1, where the poet Guthormr sindri is referred to as stríðir hringa ‘enemy of rings [GENEROUS MAN]’. (b) Ohlmarks (1958, 387-8) and Davidson (1983, 396-8), following Kock (NN §410), take a different approach, reading Gollsendir lætr hljót mjaðar Yggs njóta grundar ... ‘The gold-distributor [GENEROUS MAN = Hákon jarl] lets the owner of the mead of Yggr [POEM > POET] enjoy land ...’. However, there is little or no evidence for skalds being rewarded with land.

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lætr ‘lets’

láta (verb): let, have sth done

[1] Gollsendir lætr: ‘[…]l sendir l[…]tr’ U

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grundar ‘of land’

grund (noun f.): earth, land

kennings

hljót grundar
‘the recipient of land ’
   = RULER

the recipient of land → RULER
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glaðar ‘gladdens’

glaða (verb): gladden, rejoice, be merry

[2] glaðar: glaðr A, gleðr C

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drengja ‘of warriors’

drengr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ir, gen. -ja): man, warrior

[2] drengja: so C, drengi R, Tˣ, W, A, ‘[…]’ U, lengi B

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mæti ‘precious gifts’

mæti (noun n.; °; -): precious thing

[3] mæti: ‘[...]’ U, mætti B, C

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knák ‘I can’

knega (verb): to know, understand, be able to

[3] knák (‘kna ec’): ‘[...]na ek’ U, kná B

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hljóta ‘receive’

hljóta (verb): alot, gain

[3] hljóta: om. B, ‘hlýða’ C

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hljót ‘the recipient’

hljótr (noun m.): recipient

[4] hljót: ‘hljó’ U

kennings

hljót grundar
‘the recipient of land ’
   = RULER

the recipient of land → RULER
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Yggs ‘of Yggr’

1. Yggr (noun m.): Yggr

[4] Yggs: ygg C

kennings

mjaðar Yggs;
‘the mead of Yggr; ’
   = POEM

the mead of Yggr; → POEM
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mjaðar ‘the mead’

mjǫðr (noun m.; °dat. miði): mead

kennings

mjaðar Yggs;
‘the mead of Yggr; ’
   = POEM

the mead of Yggr; → POEM
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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

The helmingr is quoted in SnE (Skm) to illustrate how ‘gold’ is used in kennings for ‘man’ (specifying gollsendir ‘gold-distributor’).

The stanza, with its unequivocal presumption of a reward for the composition, is part of the conclusion of the drápa. Krömmelbein (1983, 175) views it as a stef stanza on the basis of the poetry-kenning, but this is insufficient evidence. Referring to an episode of Jvs, Ohlmarks (1958, 387) claims that the stanza introduced the section about the battle with the Jómsvíkingar (see Introduction).

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