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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 4VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 566-7.

Anonymous PoemsLilja
345

er ‘who’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

[1] er: að 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892

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klók ‘profound’

klókr (adj.; °comp. -ari, superl. -astr): clever, profound

notes

[2] klók ‘profound, clever’: The word has both positive and negative connotations. Cf. Lucifer’s disparaging comment, Dróttinn mun dikta eitthvað klókt ‘the Lord thinks he is devising something clever’ 39/7 and klókar varnir ‘ingenious defences’ 72/2. In Stjórn it is used of the serpent in the Garden of Eden (Unger 1862, 34) and of Esau (Unger 1862, 160).

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af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

[2] af: so 622, 720b, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, á Bb

notes

[2] af sínum bókum ‘from their books’: Only Bb and 622 read sínum, the other mss having heiðnum ‘heathen’, the reading preferred by Skj B and Skald. Although sínum also occurs in l. 3, and so may indicate eyeskip on the part of Bb’s scribe, the reading is preferred here because it suggests the skald imagining for his predecessors a culture of literacy like his own. He may be referring to the use of poetic manuals to compose ‘elegant praise’, or he may be suggesting that skaldic poems about ancient kings are distilled from prose narratives. The pejorative heiðnum (see Fritzner: heiðinn) is out of place here and seems more like the judgement of a later age. This st. is not meant as disparagement of the learning of the poet’s predecessors. The point is rather that, if it was fitting for them to praise the great men who were their patrons, his relationship to ‘the all-powerful king’ makes him all the more obliged to do the same.

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sínum ‘their’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

[2] sínum: heiðnum 99a, 713, 720b, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892

notes

[2] af sínum bókum ‘from their books’: Only Bb and 622 read sínum, the other mss having heiðnum ‘heathen’, the reading preferred by Skj B and Skald. Although sínum also occurs in l. 3, and so may indicate eyeskip on the part of Bb’s scribe, the reading is preferred here because it suggests the skald imagining for his predecessors a culture of literacy like his own. He may be referring to the use of poetic manuals to compose ‘elegant praise’, or he may be suggesting that skaldic poems about ancient kings are distilled from prose narratives. The pejorative heiðnum (see Fritzner: heiðinn) is out of place here and seems more like the judgement of a later age. This st. is not meant as disparagement of the learning of the poet’s predecessors. The point is rather that, if it was fitting for them to praise the great men who were their patrons, his relationship to ‘the all-powerful king’ makes him all the more obliged to do the same.

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bókum ‘books’

1. bók (noun f.; °bǿkr/bókar; bǿkr): book

notes

[2] af sínum bókum ‘from their books’: Only Bb and 622 read sínum, the other mss having heiðnum ‘heathen’, the reading preferred by Skj B and Skald. Although sínum also occurs in l. 3, and so may indicate eyeskip on the part of Bb’s scribe, the reading is preferred here because it suggests the skald imagining for his predecessors a culture of literacy like his own. He may be referring to the use of poetic manuals to compose ‘elegant praise’, or he may be suggesting that skaldic poems about ancient kings are distilled from prose narratives. The pejorative heiðnum (see Fritzner: heiðinn) is out of place here and seems more like the judgement of a later age. This st. is not meant as disparagement of the learning of the poet’s predecessors. The point is rather that, if it was fitting for them to praise the great men who were their patrons, his relationship to ‘the all-powerful king’ makes him all the more obliged to do the same.

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slungin ‘complex’

slunginn (adj./verb p.p.): encircled, coiled

[3] slungin: sungu 99a, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, sagðu 720b

notes

[3] slungin ‘complex’: The p.p. of slyngva ‘to fling, surround’ (often used of arm-rings); here, in a transferred sense, ‘intricate, elegantly made, complex’; see LP: slyngva.

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sínum ‘their’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

[3] sínum: fyrrum 4892

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kóngum ‘kings’

kóngr (noun m.): king

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sungu ‘sang’

syngja (verb): sing

[4] sungu: þeir sungu 622, slungið Vb, 41 8°ˣ

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danskri ‘the Nordic’

danskr (adj.): Danish

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Í ‘In’

í (prep.): in, into

[5] Í: so 622, 713, 720b, 4892, af Bb, og í 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ

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þvílíku ‘just such’

þvílíkr (adj.): such

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skylaz ‘’

skyla (verb)

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skyldumz ‘obliged’

2. skylda (verb): pledge oneself, oblige

[6] skyldumz: skylaz Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892

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eg ‘I’

ek (pron.; °mín, dat. mér, acc. mik): I, me

[6] eg: so all others, om. Bb

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hrærðan ‘composed’

2. hrœra (verb): move

notes

[7] dikt hrærðan ‘a poem composed’: Hrœra ‘to set in motion, stir up, compose’ is a verb associated with traditional skaldic poetry. Originally it was used in the context of stirring the mead of poetry to bring forth a poem; later, as here, the object of the verb is not a kenning referring to poetry as Óðinn’s mead, but a term for poetry itself.

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dikt ‘with a poem’

dikt (noun n.; °-s; -): [poem, with a poem]

notes

[7] dikt hrærðan ‘a poem composed’: Hrœra ‘to set in motion, stir up, compose’ is a verb associated with traditional skaldic poetry. Originally it was used in the context of stirring the mead of poetry to bring forth a poem; later, as here, the object of the verb is not a kenning referring to poetry as Óðinn’s mead, but a term for poetry itself.

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með ‘with’

með (prep.): with

[7] með: af 720b

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valdanda ‘ruling’

valda (verb): cause < allsvaldandi (adj.): all-ruling

[8] ‑valdanda: valdandi 622, 720b, Vb, 705ˣ, 4892

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