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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 92VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 92’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 666-7.

Anonymous PoemsLilja
919293

Tungu ‘of tongue’

tunga (noun f.; °-u; -ur): tongue, language < tungusœtr (adj.)

[1] Tungusætr: Tungann setr 4892

notes

[1] tungusætr ‘sweet of tongue, sweetly speaking’: This is the earliest known occurrence of the word in ON: see Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4 for its use in MIcel.

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sætr ‘sweet’

sœtr (adj.): sweet < tungusœtr (adj.)

[1] Tungusætr: Tungann setr 4892

notes

[1] tungusætr ‘sweet of tongue, sweetly speaking’: This is the earliest known occurrence of the word in ON: see Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4 for its use in MIcel.

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ef ‘If’

3. ef (conj.): if

[1] ef einnhverr ýta: einnhverr ýta ef 41 8°ˣ(420);    ef: þó 99a, 705ˣ, om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), 4892

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einnhverr ‘some’

einhverr (pron.; °dat. ·hverjum; gen. ·hverra): a certain

[1] ef einnhverr ýta: einnhverr ýta ef 41 8°ˣ(420)

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ýta ‘man’

ýtr (noun m.): man; launcher

[1] ef einnhverr ýta: einnhverr ýta ef 41 8°ˣ(420)

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orðum ‘with words’

orð (noun n.; °-s; -): word

[2] orðum: í orðum 99a, ef orðinn Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), með orðum 705ˣ, orðinn 4892

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hygz ‘intends’

2. hyggja (verb): think, consider

[2] hygz í: hygiz 99a, hygði 622, hyggi 705ˣ

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í ‘in’

í (prep.): in, into

[2] hygz í: hygiz 99a, hygði 622, hyggi 705ˣ

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‘to’

5. at (nota): to (with infinitive)

[2] að: om. 4892

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skorða ‘support’

2. skorða (verb): support

notes

[2] skorða ‘to support’: Originally a nautical term (cf. the idiom skorða skip ‘to prop up a ship with supports’), in Lil it is used of poetry (cf. 2/6, þraungskorðaðra ‘tightly-propped’ 96/6). Rigid supports or props and ‘supple words’ seem to be at odds in the poet’s mind.

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‘’

4. at (conj.): that

[3] að: so 41 8°ˣ(420)

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makligleikum ‘fittingly’

makligleikr (noun m.): [fittingly]

[3] makligleikum: meigi auka 41 8°ˣ(420)

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drotning ‘queen’

dróttning (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-, acc. -u/-; -ar): queen

[4] drotning: drottinn Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), 41 8°ˣ(420)

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af ‘about’

af (prep.): from

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heiðri ‘honour’

1. heiðr (noun m.; °heiðrs/heiðar, dat. heiðri/heiðr): honour - gen. -rs

[4] heiðri: vegsemd Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134)

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þínum ‘your’

þinn (pron.; °f. þín, n. þitt): your

[4] þínum: þinni Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134)

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því ‘’

því (adv.): therefore, because

[5] því er líkast: þá er líkt Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), þá er þvílíkr 41 8°ˣ(420)

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er ‘it would be’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[5] því er líkast: þá er líkt Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), þá er þvílíkr 41 8°ˣ(420)

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líkast ‘’

líkr (adj.): like

[5] því er líkast: þá er líkt Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), þá er þvílíkr 41 8°ˣ(420)

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sem ‘as if’

sem (conj.): as, which

[5] sem: sín 41 8°ˣ(420)

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rasi ‘should stumble’

rasa (verb): rush, stumble

[5] rasi: rafi 41 8°ˣ(420)

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og ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[5] og: eða 622, 713, Vb, 4892, eðr 41 8°ˣ(134), 41 8°ˣ(420), 705ˣ

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ráðlauss ‘a bewildered’

ráðlauss (adj.): [a bewildered]

[6] ráðlauss: so all others, ‘radslaus’ Bb

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ýmsum ‘wall’

ýmiss (adj.): various, alternate

[6] ýmsum: ‘unsom’ 4892

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fældr ‘panic-stricken’

fæla (verb): frighten

[7] fældr: feldr 99a, faldr Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), 41 8°ˣ(420)

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byrgðr ‘hemmed in’

byrgja (verb; °-rgð-): lock

[7] byrgðr: byrðr 99a, 622, 713, 41 8°ˣ(420), 705ˣ, 4892

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og ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[7] og: en 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), 41 8°ˣ(420), 705ˣ, 4892

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feti ‘able to make’

1. feta (verb): follow, able to make

[7] feti: fet 622, feta 41 8°ˣ(420), fetir 4892

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þó ‘although’

þó (adv.): though

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hvergi ‘not at all’

1. hvergi (adv.): nowhere

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burt ‘away’

2. burt (adv.): away

[8] burt: burtu 705ˣ

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ór ‘out’

3. ór (prep.): out of

notes

[8] ór völundarhúsi ‘out of the house of Vǫlundr, labyrinth’: The Gmc. hero Vǫlundr was associated with the classical Daedalus, who was in turn associated with the labyrinth. The term domus Dedali ‘house of Daedalus’, gave rise to the Icel. term völundarhús (Granlund 1974). Cf. Stjórn: laborintho. er sumir menn kalla Vo᷎lundar hús ‘labyrinth, which some men call Vǫlund’s house’ (Unger 1862, 85). While the extended metaphor in this st. is a conventional inexpressibility topos (it is impossible to praise Mary adequately), the formula völundarhús can also be regarded as an original designation of poetry. The poet’s comments in the sts that follow suggest that he regards the traditional skaldic st. as a labyrinth: it holds the delight of compressed symmetry, but can also be a confining trap (for both skald and hearer/reader), which frustrates movement forward.

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völundar ‘of a labyrinth’

vǫlundr (noun m.; °; -ar): [a labyrinth] < vǫlundarhús (noun n.)

notes

[8] ór völundarhúsi ‘out of the house of Vǫlundr, labyrinth’: The Gmc. hero Vǫlundr was associated with the classical Daedalus, who was in turn associated with the labyrinth. The term domus Dedali ‘house of Daedalus’, gave rise to the Icel. term völundarhús (Granlund 1974). Cf. Stjórn: laborintho. er sumir menn kalla Vo᷎lundar hús ‘labyrinth, which some men call Vǫlund’s house’ (Unger 1862, 85). While the extended metaphor in this st. is a conventional inexpressibility topos (it is impossible to praise Mary adequately), the formula völundarhús can also be regarded as an original designation of poetry. The poet’s comments in the sts that follow suggest that he regards the traditional skaldic st. as a labyrinth: it holds the delight of compressed symmetry, but can also be a confining trap (for both skald and hearer/reader), which frustrates movement forward.

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húsi ‘’

hús (noun n.; °-s; -): house < vǫlundarhús (noun n.)

notes

[8] ór völundarhúsi ‘out of the house of Vǫlundr, labyrinth’: The Gmc. hero Vǫlundr was associated with the classical Daedalus, who was in turn associated with the labyrinth. The term domus Dedali ‘house of Daedalus’, gave rise to the Icel. term völundarhús (Granlund 1974). Cf. Stjórn: laborintho. er sumir menn kalla Vo᷎lundar hús ‘labyrinth, which some men call Vǫlund’s house’ (Unger 1862, 85). While the extended metaphor in this st. is a conventional inexpressibility topos (it is impossible to praise Mary adequately), the formula völundarhús can also be regarded as an original designation of poetry. The poet’s comments in the sts that follow suggest that he regards the traditional skaldic st. as a labyrinth: it holds the delight of compressed symmetry, but can also be a confining trap (for both skald and hearer/reader), which frustrates movement forward.

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Hallvard Lie (1952, 77-80) reads sts 92-4 (cf. also sts 26, 38, and 64) as a sincere expression of the skald’s frustration with the limitations of traditional skaldic verse-forms, which limit his ability to praise Mary as she deserves. He sees the ‘natural psychological consequence’ of feelings like those expressed in this st. as a move towards a ‘more ethical’ form of poetry, which expresses only what is essential. But this is more likely a conventional use of the topic of inexpressibility (Curtius 1953, 159-62).

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