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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 51VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 51’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 285.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
505152

foldar ‘of the realm’

fold (noun f.): land

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

Close

foldar ‘of the realm’

fold (noun f.): land

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

Close

foldar ‘of the realm’

fold (noun f.): land

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

Close

humra ‘of lobsters’

humarr (noun m.): lobster

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

Close

humra ‘of lobsters’

humarr (noun m.): lobster

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

Close

humra ‘of lobsters’

humarr (noun m.): lobster

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

Close

leiðar ‘of the path’

leið (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir/-ar): path, way

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

Close

leiðar ‘of the path’

leið (noun f.; °-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir/-ar): path, way

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

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ljósu ‘for the bright’

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

notes

[3] ljósu kvæði ‘for the bright poem’: Cf. ljóss bragr and alljóss bragr ‘completely radiant poem’ Leið 4/2, 44/6, the latter, as here, in the st. naming the poem.

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kvæði ‘poem’

kvæði (noun n.; °-s; -): poem

notes

[3] ljósu kvæði ‘for the bright poem’: Cf. ljóss bragr and alljóss bragr ‘completely radiant poem’ Leið 4/2, 44/6, the latter, as here, in the st. naming the poem.

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Líknarbraut ‘Líknarbraut’

líknarbraut (noun f.): líknarbraut

notes

[4] Líknarbraut: ‘The Way of Grace/Mercy’. The poem’s title may itself be construed as a kenning for its subject, the Cross. On the idea of ‘way’, note the recurrence of vegr ‘way’ or ‘glory’ in the poem, at times in kennings for God or Christ (7/8, 13/2, 28/5, 41/6, 48/4); cf. brú ‘bridge’ 35/1 and leið ‘path’ 51/3. Líkn ‘grace, mercy’ also occurs at 10/8, 22/8, 33/7 and 40/1.

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gauta ‘men’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

kennings

gauta leiðar foldar humra.
‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters. ’
   = SEAFARERS

the realm of lobsters. → SEA
the path of the SEA → SEA PATH
men of the SEA PATH → SEAFARERS

notes

[1, 3-4] gauta leiðar foldar humra ‘men of the path of the realm of lobsters [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]’: LP (1860), LP, and Meissner, 238 all construe foldar humra as ‘land-lobsters’ (i.e. ‘snakes’), whose leið ‘path’ is ‘gold’. (Cf. orma leið, linns leið, etc., Meissner, 238.) This ed., however, follows NN §1197 in construing humra fold ‘land/realm of lobsters’ as ‘sea’, whose leið ‘path’ is the ‘sea-path’ seafarers cross. All other instances of humarr ‘lobster’ in kennings are in sea-kennings (e.g. humra heiðr ‘lobsters’ heath’, humra fjöll ‘lobsters’ mountain’; see Meissner, 96). The semi-redundancy of fold ‘land’ and leið ‘path’ is similar to the sea-kenning holmfjöturs leið ‘island fetter’s path’ (Hallv Knútdr 5/2III), where ‘island fetter’ itself is a kenning for ‘sea’. (See also Líkn 7/1, 3 mána hvéls hauðr ‘land of the moon’s wheel’ where ‘wheel’ simply refines the concept of ‘moon’). ‘Men of the sea’ or ‘seafarers’ accords well with the ‘sea of the world’ allegory and the Cross as ship in st. 33; see also the seafarer-kenning at 34/1-2.

Close

Sæll ‘Blessed’

sæll (adj.): happy, blessed

kennings

Sæll angrskerðandi,
‘Blessed grief-diminisher, ’
   = Christ

Blessed grief-diminisher, → Christ
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allri ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

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angr ‘grief’

1. angr (noun m.; °angrs, dat. angri/angr): grief < angrskerðandi (noun m.)

kennings

Sæll angrskerðandi,
‘Blessed grief-diminisher, ’
   = Christ

Blessed grief-diminisher, → Christ

notes

[6] angrskerðandi ‘grief-diminisher’: Skerða ‘to make a notch [< skarð], diminish’; cf. farskerðandi and farskerðir ‘harm-diminisher’ Geisl 63/7, Leið 11/1, also angrlestandi ‘grief-breaker’ Has 65/2, angrhegnandi ‘harm-suppressor’ and angrstriðandi ‘grief-fighter’ Líkn 23/6, 49/2.

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skerðandi ‘diminisher’

skerðandi (noun m.): diminisher < angrskerðandi (noun m.)

kennings

Sæll angrskerðandi,
‘Blessed grief-diminisher, ’
   = Christ

Blessed grief-diminisher, → Christ

notes

[6] angrskerðandi ‘grief-diminisher’: Skerða ‘to make a notch [< skarð], diminish’; cf. farskerðandi and farskerðir ‘harm-diminisher’ Geisl 63/7, Leið 11/1, also angrlestandi ‘grief-breaker’ Has 65/2, angrhegnandi ‘harm-suppressor’ and angrstriðandi ‘grief-fighter’ Líkn 23/6, 49/2.

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vár ‘our’

várr (pron.; °f. ór/vár; pl. órir/várir): our

[7] vár: vör 399a‑bˣ

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góðu ‘the good’

góðr (adj.): good

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By naming the poem in the penultimate st., the poet is following the pattern of his two main models, Has (64/2) and Leið (44/8); cf. Anon Sól 81/4 and Lil 98/8.

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