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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Oddi Lv 3II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Oddi inn litli Glúmsson, Lausavísur 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 616-17.

Oddi inn litli GlúmssonLausavísur
234

Hafði ‘has had’

hafa (verb): have

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hollvinr ‘The loyal friend’

hollvinr (noun m.): loyal friend

notes

[1] hollvinr lofða ‘the loyal friend of men [I, the poet]’: The adj. hollr can imply either ‘gracious’, of a lord, or ‘loyal’, of a retainer (Jesch 2001a, 261). In this context, the phrase would apply to the speaking poet, and the variant reading hollvinr jǫfra ‘loyal friend of chieftains’ may make more sense semantically but the l. would then have a less exact skothending (NN §2087).

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lofða ‘of men’

lofði (noun m.; °; -ar): man

[1] lofða: jǫfra R702ˣ

notes

[1] hollvinr lofða ‘the loyal friend of men [I, the poet]’: The adj. hollr can imply either ‘gracious’, of a lord, or ‘loyal’, of a retainer (Jesch 2001a, 261). In this context, the phrase would apply to the speaking poet, and the variant reading hollvinr jǫfra ‘loyal friend of chieftains’ may make more sense semantically but the l. would then have a less exact skothending (NN §2087).

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sunda ‘of straits’

sund (noun n.; °-s; -): sound, strait; swimming

kennings

sveigi logs sunda,
‘the bender of the fire of straits, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

the fire of straits, → GOLD
the bender of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr
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sunda ‘of straits’

sund (noun n.; °-s; -): sound, strait; swimming

kennings

sveigi logs sunda,
‘the bender of the fire of straits, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

the fire of straits, → GOLD
the bender of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr
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logs ‘of the fire’

log (noun n.; °; -): flame

[3] logs: so R702ˣ, lauks Flat

kennings

sveigi logs sunda,
‘the bender of the fire of straits, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

the fire of straits, → GOLD
the bender of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

notes

[3] logs ‘of the fire’: Whereas in l. 1 the main ms. had a metrically superior (if semantically inferior) reading, here its reading (lauks ‘of the leek’) is both unmetrical and provides a kenning difficult, though not impossible, to construe. Sveigir lauks sunda ‘bender of the leek of the strait’ could conceivably be a kenning for a ‘seafarer’, as laukr can be used for masts (Jesch 2001a, 160), but a kenning meaning ‘generous man’ is more appropriate in this context in which the poet is expressing his loyalty to his lord despite the hardships. Skj B emends logs to leygs (with the same meaning), presumably to avoid a skothending between a short vowel and a diphthong.

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logs ‘of the fire’

log (noun n.; °; -): flame

[3] logs: so R702ˣ, lauks Flat

kennings

sveigi logs sunda,
‘the bender of the fire of straits, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

the fire of straits, → GOLD
the bender of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

notes

[3] logs ‘of the fire’: Whereas in l. 1 the main ms. had a metrically superior (if semantically inferior) reading, here its reading (lauks ‘of the leek’) is both unmetrical and provides a kenning difficult, though not impossible, to construe. Sveigir lauks sunda ‘bender of the leek of the strait’ could conceivably be a kenning for a ‘seafarer’, as laukr can be used for masts (Jesch 2001a, 160), but a kenning meaning ‘generous man’ is more appropriate in this context in which the poet is expressing his loyalty to his lord despite the hardships. Skj B emends logs to leygs (with the same meaning), presumably to avoid a skothending between a short vowel and a diphthong.

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sveigi ‘the bender’

sveigir (noun m.): brandisher

kennings

sveigi logs sunda,
‘the bender of the fire of straits, ’
   = GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr

the fire of straits, → GOLD
the bender of the GOLD → GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr
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sjau ‘seven’

sjau (num. cardinal): seven

[4] sjau: sex R702ˣ

notes

[4] sjau dœgr ‘seven days’: The prose context specifies that the sailors lay at anchor for three days to sit out a storm (ÍF 34, 219) but gives no further details about the length of their journey past Spain. The comp. contrasts the journey with unspecified periods of seven days in the past which were more comfortable.

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dœgr ‘days’

dœgr (noun n.; °-s; -): day and night; 24h period

notes

[4] sjau dœgr ‘seven days’: The prose context specifies that the sailors lay at anchor for three days to sit out a storm (ÍF 34, 219) but gives no further details about the length of their journey past Spain. The comp. contrasts the journey with unspecified periods of seven days in the past which were more comfortable.

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muni ‘considerably’

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hœgri ‘more comfortable’

hœgri (adj. comp.): higher, highest

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ríklundaðr ‘mighty-spirited’

ríklundaðr (adj./verb p.p.): proud-minded

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renndi ‘ran’

3. renna (verb): let run (weak)

[5] renndi: reyndi R702ˣ

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Rǫgnvaldr ‘Rǫgnvaldr’

Rǫgnvaldr (noun m.): Rǫgnvaldr

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skjaldat ‘a shield-equipped’

skjalda (verb): shield

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hesti ‘the horse’

hestr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): horse, stallion

kennings

hesti hlunns,
‘the horse of the roller, ’
   = SHIP

the horse of the roller, → SHIP
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halli ‘with paint’

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glæstum ‘adorned’

glæsa (verb): adorn

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hlunns ‘of the roller’

hlunnr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): roller

kennings

hesti hlunns,
‘the horse of the roller, ’
   = SHIP

the horse of the roller, → SHIP
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Nǫrvasundum ‘the Straits of Gibraltar’

nǫrvasund (noun n.): Straits of Gibraltar

[8] Nǫrvasundum: so R702ˣ, Njǫrvasundum Flat

notes

[8] Nǫrvasundum ‘the Straits of Gibraltar’: This form of this name is also found in the majority of mss of Hskv Útdr 6/4.

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

Oddi is said to have recited this st. after a difficult passage along the coast of Spain, as the crusaders furled their sail and beat to windward into the Straits of Gibraltar.

This st. is cited in Orkn between Rv Lv 21-2 (ÍF 34, 219-20), all three of them referring to difficult sailing along the coast of Spain and into the Straits of Gibraltar.

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