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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 22VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 160-1.

Anonymous PoemsLeiðarvísan
212223

við ‘with’

2. við (prep.): with, against

[1] við: om. 624

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unga ‘a young’

ungr (adj.): young

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spjalla ‘to speak’

1. spjalla (verb): talk

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buðlungs ‘of the king’

buðlungr (noun m.; °; -ar): king, prince

kennings

buðlungs dýrðar.
‘of the king of glory. ’
   = God

the king of glory. → God
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dýrðar ‘of glory’

dýrð (noun f.; °-ar/-a(NoDipl(1279) 44²ˆ); -ir): glory

[3] dýrðar: dýrðir B, 624

kennings

buðlungs dýrðar.
‘of the king of glory. ’
   = God

the king of glory. → God

notes

[3] dýrðar ‘of glory’: B’s dýrðir must be emended to provide the correct gen. sg. form, an emendation first suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson in a marginal note to the 444ˣ transcript.

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Brims ‘of the sea’

brim (noun n.): surf

[5] Brims: corrected from ‘grims’ in margin in a different hand 624

kennings

In fremsta bjǫrk brands brims
‘The foremost birch of the fire of the sea ’
   = WOMAN

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The foremost birch of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5-6] bjǫrk brims brands ‘birch of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN]’: A kenning for ‘woman’ is clearly required here. In that context, it has not been possible to make sense of B’s reading ‘banndz’, which could be gen. sg. of band ‘a bond, fetter, team, confederacy etc.’, sometimes used in pl. of the Norse gods. In a n. to Jón Sigurðsson’s transcript of 624 in 444(2)ˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson suggested emendation to beins, gen. sg. of beinn ‘ebony’, which is listed among heiti for ‘tree’ in a þula but is not attested elesewhere (LP: 1. beinn). Aside from its rarity, the noun does not work in a kenning which already has a tree-element, bjǫrk f. ‘birch’ in l. 5. Sveinbjörn rethought this emendation in preparing his printed edn (1844, 62 n. 10), in which he emended to brands gen. sg. of m. brandr ‘fire, flame’. This creates the gold-kenning, brandr brims ‘flame of the sea’, whose bjǫrk is a woman, in this case the Virgin Mary. Sveinbjörn’s second emendation has been adopted by all subsequent eds.

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Brims ‘of the sea’

brim (noun n.): surf

[5] Brims: corrected from ‘grims’ in margin in a different hand 624

kennings

In fremsta bjǫrk brands brims
‘The foremost birch of the fire of the sea ’
   = WOMAN

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The foremost birch of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5-6] bjǫrk brims brands ‘birch of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN]’: A kenning for ‘woman’ is clearly required here. In that context, it has not been possible to make sense of B’s reading ‘banndz’, which could be gen. sg. of band ‘a bond, fetter, team, confederacy etc.’, sometimes used in pl. of the Norse gods. In a n. to Jón Sigurðsson’s transcript of 624 in 444(2)ˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson suggested emendation to beins, gen. sg. of beinn ‘ebony’, which is listed among heiti for ‘tree’ in a þula but is not attested elesewhere (LP: 1. beinn). Aside from its rarity, the noun does not work in a kenning which already has a tree-element, bjǫrk f. ‘birch’ in l. 5. Sveinbjörn rethought this emendation in preparing his printed edn (1844, 62 n. 10), in which he emended to brands gen. sg. of m. brandr ‘fire, flame’. This creates the gold-kenning, brandr brims ‘flame of the sea’, whose bjǫrk is a woman, in this case the Virgin Mary. Sveinbjörn’s second emendation has been adopted by all subsequent eds.

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tók ‘received’

2. taka (verb): take

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bjǫrk ‘birch’

bjǫrk (noun f.): birch

kennings

In fremsta bjǫrk brands brims
‘The foremost birch of the fire of the sea ’
   = WOMAN

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The foremost birch of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5-6] bjǫrk brims brands ‘birch of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN]’: A kenning for ‘woman’ is clearly required here. In that context, it has not been possible to make sense of B’s reading ‘banndz’, which could be gen. sg. of band ‘a bond, fetter, team, confederacy etc.’, sometimes used in pl. of the Norse gods. In a n. to Jón Sigurðsson’s transcript of 624 in 444(2)ˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson suggested emendation to beins, gen. sg. of beinn ‘ebony’, which is listed among heiti for ‘tree’ in a þula but is not attested elesewhere (LP: 1. beinn). Aside from its rarity, the noun does not work in a kenning which already has a tree-element, bjǫrk f. ‘birch’ in l. 5. Sveinbjörn rethought this emendation in preparing his printed edn (1844, 62 n. 10), in which he emended to brands gen. sg. of m. brandr ‘fire, flame’. This creates the gold-kenning, brandr brims ‘flame of the sea’, whose bjǫrk is a woman, in this case the Virgin Mary. Sveinbjörn’s second emendation has been adopted by all subsequent eds.

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in ‘The’

2. inn (art.): the

kennings

In fremsta bjǫrk brands brims
‘The foremost birch of the fire of the sea ’
   = WOMAN

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The foremost birch of the GOLD → WOMAN
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fremsta ‘foremost’

framr (adj.; °compar. framari/fremri, superl. framastr/fremstr): outstanding, foremost

kennings

In fremsta bjǫrk brands brims
‘The foremost birch of the fire of the sea ’
   = WOMAN

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The foremost birch of the GOLD → WOMAN
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brands ‘of the fire’

brandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sword, prow; fire

[6] brands: ‘banndz’ B, 624

kennings

In fremsta bjǫrk brands brims
‘The foremost birch of the fire of the sea ’
   = WOMAN

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The foremost birch of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5-6] bjǫrk brims brands ‘birch of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN]’: A kenning for ‘woman’ is clearly required here. In that context, it has not been possible to make sense of B’s reading ‘banndz’, which could be gen. sg. of band ‘a bond, fetter, team, confederacy etc.’, sometimes used in pl. of the Norse gods. In a n. to Jón Sigurðsson’s transcript of 624 in 444(2)ˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson suggested emendation to beins, gen. sg. of beinn ‘ebony’, which is listed among heiti for ‘tree’ in a þula but is not attested elesewhere (LP: 1. beinn). Aside from its rarity, the noun does not work in a kenning which already has a tree-element, bjǫrk f. ‘birch’ in l. 5. Sveinbjörn rethought this emendation in preparing his printed edn (1844, 62 n. 10), in which he emended to brands gen. sg. of m. brandr ‘fire, flame’. This creates the gold-kenning, brandr brims ‘flame of the sea’, whose bjǫrk is a woman, in this case the Virgin Mary. Sveinbjörn’s second emendation has been adopted by all subsequent eds.

Close

brands ‘of the fire’

brandr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): sword, prow; fire

[6] brands: ‘banndz’ B, 624

kennings

In fremsta bjǫrk brands brims
‘The foremost birch of the fire of the sea ’
   = WOMAN

the fire of the sea → GOLD
The foremost birch of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5-6] bjǫrk brims brands ‘birch of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN]’: A kenning for ‘woman’ is clearly required here. In that context, it has not been possible to make sense of B’s reading ‘banndz’, which could be gen. sg. of band ‘a bond, fetter, team, confederacy etc.’, sometimes used in pl. of the Norse gods. In a n. to Jón Sigurðsson’s transcript of 624 in 444(2)ˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson suggested emendation to beins, gen. sg. of beinn ‘ebony’, which is listed among heiti for ‘tree’ in a þula but is not attested elesewhere (LP: 1. beinn). Aside from its rarity, the noun does not work in a kenning which already has a tree-element, bjǫrk f. ‘birch’ in l. 5. Sveinbjörn rethought this emendation in preparing his printed edn (1844, 62 n. 10), in which he emended to brands gen. sg. of m. brandr ‘fire, flame’. This creates the gold-kenning, brandr brims ‘flame of the sea’, whose bjǫrk is a woman, in this case the Virgin Mary. Sveinbjörn’s second emendation has been adopted by all subsequent eds.

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hefk ‘I have’

hafa (verb): have

[7] hefk (‘hefe ec’): so 624, ‘hefer ek’ B

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yrði ‘was brought’

1. verða (verb): become, be

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

Sts 22-4 recount events leading up to the birth and baptism of Christ. Gabriel’s Annunciation of the birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary is recounted in Luke I.26-38. The account in Leið has some conceptual similarities to that found in the sermon for the Feast of the Assumption in HómÍsl 1872, 138: seɴdi guþ drottiɴ engil siɴ ɢabriel til fundar viþ mario meþ þui eyrende at segia henni þat at guþ siálfr kaus hana til móþor sér. oc hon scyllde verþa hafandi at guþs syni. en þat eyreɴdi bar engilleɴ heɴi a þessom degi er nu hꜵlldom vér ‘The Lord God sent his angel Gabriel to meet with Mary with the purpose of telling her that God himself chose her to be his own mother, and she would bear God’s son. And the angel brought her that message on this day which we now celebrate’.

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