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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 34VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 34’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 170-1.

Anonymous PoemsLeiðarvísan
333435

af ‘from’

af (prep.): from

notes

[1] af aumu ‘from a state of wretchedness’: The adj. aumr means ‘poor, wretched, miserable’ (ONP: aumr, adj., auma, f. the latter only in the expression sjá aumu ‘to feel pity for’), but in this context expresses the poet’s feeling of inadequacy to his task. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844, 67 n. 21) suggested that the phrase may refer to the poet’s miserable subject-matter, given that he is to discuss the fates of men at the Last Judgement in st. 35, but this seems unlikely in context.

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aumu ‘a state of wretchedness’

auma (noun f.; °-u; -ur): state of wretchedness

notes

[1] af aumu ‘from a state of wretchedness’: The adj. aumr means ‘poor, wretched, miserable’ (ONP: aumr, adj., auma, f. the latter only in the expression sjá aumu ‘to feel pity for’), but in this context expresses the poet’s feeling of inadequacy to his task. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844, 67 n. 21) suggested that the phrase may refer to the poet’s miserable subject-matter, given that he is to discuss the fates of men at the Last Judgement in st. 35, but this seems unlikely in context.

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hefja ‘begin’

hefja (verb): lift, start

[2] hefja: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]fia’ B, ‘hefur’ 624

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vinnask ‘be achieved’

2. vinna (verb): perform, work

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ávalt ‘always’

ávallt (adv.): always

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vegs ‘of glory’

2. vegr (noun m.; °-s/-ar, dat. -): honour

[6] vegs gnóttar (‘vex gnottar’): so 624, ‘vegs[...]ttar’ BRydberg, ‘[...]e[...]s[...]ottar’ B, vegsnóttar 399a‑bˣ

kennings

Dróttinn gnóttar vegs,
‘Lord of the abundance of glory, ’
   = God

Lord of the abundance of glory, → God
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gnóttar ‘of the abundance’

gnótt (noun f.): abundance

[6] vegs gnóttar (‘vex gnottar’): so 624, ‘vegs[...]ttar’ BRydberg, ‘[...]e[...]s[...]ottar’ B, vegsnóttar 399a‑bˣ

kennings

Dróttinn gnóttar vegs,
‘Lord of the abundance of glory, ’
   = God

Lord of the abundance of glory, → God
Close

dróttinn ‘Lord’

dróttinn (noun m.; °dróttins, dat. dróttni (drottini [$1049$]); dróttnar): lord, master

kennings

Dróttinn gnóttar vegs,
‘Lord of the abundance of glory, ’
   = God

Lord of the abundance of glory, → God
Close

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

St. 34 begins the slœmr or concluding section of the poem, as the poet says. As befits a Christian skald whose inspiration comes from God alone, the Leið poet introduces a modesty topos disclaiming poetic proficiency, unless God helps him. Cf. Mgr 3/5-6 with ll. 7-8.

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