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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hrafn 4II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 4’ 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. 730-1.

Sturla ÞórðarsonHrafnsmál
345

Laust ‘shot’

2. ljósta (verb): strike

notes

[1] laust ‘shot’: Used impersonally with a dat. object.

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liðföstum ‘the staunch’

liðfastr (adj.): staunch

kennings

liðföstum blómum valdrósar.
‘the staunch leaves of the slaughter-woman. ’
   = SHIELDS

the slaughter-woman. → VALKYRIE
the staunch leaves of the VALKYRIE → SHIELDS

notes

[1] liðföstum ‘staunch’: Lit. ‘troop-firm’. So NN §2254 anm. Skj B gives the tentative translation til skibet festede (armen?) ‘fastened to the ship (the arm?)’. Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 93) also takes lið- in the sense ‘ship’ (lið is attested in that meaning in Þul Skipa 4/8III and in Klœ Lv 4III), and he offers the translation fastgjort til et skib ‘fastened to a ship’.

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ljósum ‘Gleams’

ljóss (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): bright

notes

[2] ljósum (n. dat. pl.) ‘gleams’: Taken here as a noun (so also Skj B). It can also be interpreted as m. dat. sg. of the adj. ljóss ‘light’ qualifying vegljóma ‘the glory-flash’ (l. 4) if the weak noun -ljóma is taken as a dat. sg. rather than as a gen. sg.

Close

val ‘of the slaughter’

1. valr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ir): corpse, the slain < valdrós (noun f.): [slaughter-woman]

kennings

liðföstum blómum valdrósar.
‘the staunch leaves of the slaughter-woman. ’
   = SHIELDS

the slaughter-woman. → VALKYRIE
the staunch leaves of the VALKYRIE → SHIELDS
Close

val ‘of the slaughter’

1. valr (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ir): corpse, the slain < valdrós (noun f.): [slaughter-woman]

kennings

liðföstum blómum valdrósar.
‘the staunch leaves of the slaughter-woman. ’
   = SHIELDS

the slaughter-woman. → VALKYRIE
the staunch leaves of the VALKYRIE → SHIELDS
Close

drósar ‘woman’

drós (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): lady < valdrós (noun f.): [slaughter-woman]

kennings

liðföstum blómum valdrósar.
‘the staunch leaves of the slaughter-woman. ’
   = SHIELDS

the slaughter-woman. → VALKYRIE
the staunch leaves of the VALKYRIE → SHIELDS
Close

drósar ‘woman’

drós (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): lady < valdrós (noun f.): [slaughter-woman]

kennings

liðföstum blómum valdrósar.
‘the staunch leaves of the slaughter-woman. ’
   = SHIELDS

the slaughter-woman. → VALKYRIE
the staunch leaves of the VALKYRIE → SHIELDS
Close

brims ‘of the surf’

brim (noun n.): surf

kennings

vegljóma brims
‘of the glory-flash of the surf ’
   = GOLD

the glory-flash of the surf → GOLD
Close

á ‘towards’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[3] á bjarthimna: af bjarthimni Flat

Close

bjarthimna ‘the bright heavens’

bjarthiminn (noun m.): [bright heavens]

[3] á bjarthimna: af bjarthimni Flat

notes

[3] bjarthimna ‘the bright heavens’: Hap. leg.

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blómum ‘leaves’

blóm (noun n.; °-s; -): flower

kennings

liðföstum blómum valdrósar.
‘the staunch leaves of the slaughter-woman. ’
   = SHIELDS

the slaughter-woman. → VALKYRIE
the staunch leaves of the VALKYRIE → SHIELDS

notes

[4] blómum ‘leaves’: Blóm can mean ‘bloom, blossom, leaf and fruit’ (see Fritzner: blóm 1-2).

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veg ‘of the glory’

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

[4] veg‑: víg‑ Flat

kennings

vegljóma brims
‘of the glory-flash of the surf ’
   = GOLD

the glory-flash of the surf → GOLD

notes

[4] vegljóma ‘of the glory-flash’: Hap. leg. LP: vegljómi takes the first part of the cpd as the noun vegr ‘road’ rather than vegr ‘glory, honour’ and construes the kenning vegljóma brims (ll. 3, 4) as an inverted kenning: ‘the road-flash of the surf’ i.e. ‘the flash of the road of the surf’, i.e. ‘the flash of the sea’ (‘gold’). That interpretation is also possible, but see st. 9/2.

Close

ljóma ‘flash’

ljómi (noun m.; °-a): light, beam < vegljómi (noun m.)

kennings

vegljóma brims
‘of the glory-flash of the surf ’
   = GOLD

the glory-flash of the surf → GOLD

notes

[4] vegljóma ‘of the glory-flash’: Hap. leg. LP: vegljómi takes the first part of the cpd as the noun vegr ‘road’ rather than vegr ‘glory, honour’ and construes the kenning vegljóma brims (ll. 3, 4) as an inverted kenning: ‘the road-flash of the surf’ i.e. ‘the flash of the road of the surf’, i.e. ‘the flash of the sea’ (‘gold’). That interpretation is also possible, but see st. 9/2.

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friðskerðis ‘of the peace-diminisher’

friðskerðir (noun m.): peace-diminisher

kennings

friðskerðis hringa
‘of the peace-diminisher of rings ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the peace-diminisher of rings → GENEROUS MAN
Close

flokka ‘of the companies’

flokkr (noun m.): group, flock

Close

áþokkuð ‘like’

áþokkaðr (adj.): [like]

notes

[6] áþokkuð ‘like’: Hap. leg. Variant form of the adj. áþekkr ‘like’.

Close

heims ‘of [this] world’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world

notes

[7] heims ‘of [this] world’: Translated in Skj B as himlens ‘of the sky’ (following Konráð Gíslason 1895, I, 93), which is unlikely (see LP: heimr 1-11). ‘Lightning of this world’ means lightning in a physical sense, as opposed to the imagery provided by Hákon’s ships.

Close

hafstrauma ‘the sea-currents’

hafstraumr (noun m.): [sea-currents]

notes

[7] hafstrauma ‘the sea-currents’: Hap. leg.

Close

hringa ‘of rings’

1. hringr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -; -ar): ring; sword

kennings

friðskerðis hringa
‘of the peace-diminisher of rings ’
   = GENEROUS MAN

the peace-diminisher of rings → GENEROUS MAN
Close

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On 5 July 1263, Hákon sailed into the North Sea with his entire fleet, which was magnificent to behold.

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