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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 2I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 2’ 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. 284.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla
123

Nús, þats Boðnar bára
(berg-Saxa) tér vaxa
(gervi í hǫll ok hlýði
hljóð fley jǫfurs þjóðir).

Nús, þats {bára Boðnar} tér vaxa; þjóðir jǫfurs gervi hljóð í hǫll ok hlýði {fley {berg-Saxa}}.

Now it happens that {the wave of Boðn <mythical vat>} [POEM] grows; may the retinue of the ruler give a hearing in the hall and listen to {the ship (líð ‘ale’) {of the rock-Saxons}} [GIANTS > POEM].

Mss: R(21v), Tˣ(22r), W(46), B(4r) (SnE)

Readings: [1] þats: þat B    [2] Saxa: sára B;    vaxa: vara B    [3] gervi: gefi W    [4] fley: ‘fr(e)y’(?) B;    þjóðir: corrected from þjóðar Tˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 123, Skj BI, 117, Skald I, 66, NN §§392, 2240B; SnE 1848-87, I, 248, II, 522, SnE 1931, 93, SnE 1998, I, 13.

Context: See Context to st. 1.

Notes: [All]: This stanza continues the sea metaphor (see Note to st. 1/1, 3, 4), as the poem swells within the poet like a wave at sea (cf. 3/3-4, where the poetry booms against his teeth). The call for attention is extended from the ruler to his retinue. — [1] bára Boðnar ‘the wave of Boðn <mythical vat> [POEM]’: This is a periphrasis for ‘mead of poetry’, which is used as a metonymical expression for ‘poem’ (see Note to st. 1 [All]). Boðn is one of the three vats in which the giant Suttungr kept the mead of poetry (SnE 1998, I, 4). Frank (1981, 162) thinks it a common noun meaning ‘vessel’ on the basis of etymologically related words in OE and ModIcel. However, the etymology of Boðn is disputed. Kock (1899, 109) relates it to OIcel. boð ‘feast’; Lindroth (1915, 174) relates it to OE byden, MLG boden(e) ‘vat, barrel’. Kock’s suggestion (NN §392), followed by Frank (1981, 162) and Krömmelbein (1983, 173-4), of combining bára Boðnar berg-Saxa into a kenning ‘the wave of the vat [DRINK?] of the mountain-Saxons [GIANTS > POEM]’, is impossible because of its structure: the kenning is overdetermined, i.e. it contains two determinants, Boðn and berg-Saxa. Furthermore the kenning bára Boðnar is attested elsewhere, albeit in the C13th, without the additional determinant ‘giants’, in hrœrik báru Boðnar ‘I stir (i.e. I deliver) the wave of Boðn’ (SigvSt Lv 2/3IV). — [2, 4] fley berg-Saxa ‘the ship (líð ‘ale’) of the rock-Saxons [GIANTS > POEM]’: This kenning for ‘poem’ contains an example of the type of word-play known as ofljóst (‘too transparent’): fley ‘ship’ is synonymous with lið/líð ‘ship’, a homonym or near homonym of líð ‘ale, drink’ (see Note to Þul Skipa 4/8III on lið ‘ship’, and see LP: 2. lið for the possibility of a variant with long vowel). The ofljóst is explained in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 14). Hence the kenning is interpreted as ‘ale of the giants’, and thus as ‘poem’ (see Marold 1994a, 475 n. 34). — [3] hlýði ‘may ... listen’: Skj B conjectures heyri instead of hlýði, given by all mss, to achieve the expected hending. Despite Skj A and SnE 1998, I, 163 attributing the conjecture to him, Konráð Gíslason repeatedly rejects it (Konráð Gíslason 1872, 14; Konráð Gíslason 1892, 18, 99). Kock (Skald) and Faulkes (SnE 1998) also adhere to the mss. Emendation is unnecessary since the hending is also missing in the first line, as noted by Konráð Gíslason (1872, 14) and Kock (NN §392). Moreover it is apparent that Einarr links ll. 3 and 4 through a hending in the introductory sts 1-5: 1. fyrðafjarð, 3. aldaǫldr (ms. aldr), 4. sorgarbergs, 5. ausaaustr. Hlýðihljóð fits well with this special use of rhyme.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  5. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Frank, Roberta. 1981. ‘Snorri and the Mead of Poetry’. In Dronke et al. 1981, 155-70.
  9. Krömmelbein, Thomas. 1983. Skaldische Metaphorik. Studien zur Funktion der Kenningsprache in skaldischen Dichtungen des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts. Hochschulproduktionen 7. Kirchzarten: Burg-Verlag.
  10. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  11. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  12. Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1892. Udvalg af oldnordiske skjaldekvad, med anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  13. Kock, Axel. 1899. ‘Etymologisch-mythologische Untersuchungen’. IF 10, 90-111.
  14. Konráð Gíslason. 1872. Nogle bemærkninger om skjaldedigtens beskaffenhed i formel henseende. Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskabs Skrifter, ser. 5, Historisk og philosophisk Afdeling 4/7. Copenhagen: Luno.
  15. Lindroth, Hjalmar. 1915. ‘Boðn, Són och Óðreyrir’. MM, 174-7.
  16. Marold, Edith. 1994a. ‘Der Skalde und sein Publikum’. In Uecker 1994, 462-76.
  17. Internal references
  18. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  19. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Skipa heiti 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 867.
  20. Not published: do not cite (SigvSt Lv 2IV)
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