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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

Framm bar ek foldar humra
(fæ ek heitis svá leitat)
leiðar (ljósu kvæði)
Líknarbraut fyr gauta.
Sæll lát oss ok allri
angrskerðandi verða
þjóð, sem þurft vár beiðir
þenna hróðr at góðu.

Ek bar framm Líknarbraut — svá fæ ek leitat heitis ljósu kvæði — fyr {gauta {leiðar {foldar humra}}}. {Sæll angrskerðandi}, lát þenna hróðr verða oss ok allri þjóð at góðu, sem þurft vár beiðir.

I have presented ‘Líknarbraut’ — thus I find a name for the bright poem — before {men {of the path {of the realm of lobsters}}} [SEA > SEA PATH > SEAFARERS]. {Blessed grief-diminisher} [= Christ], let this encomium be for the good of us and all people, as our need entreats.

Mss: B(12r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [7] vár: vör 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 159, Skj BII, 174, Skald II, 91, NN §1197; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 50-1, Rydberg 1907, 20, 53, Kock and Meissner 1931, I, 91, Tate 1974, 96.

Notes: [All]: 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. — [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. — [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. — [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.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  7. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Tate, George S. 1974. ‘Líknarbraut: A Skaldic Drápa on the Cross’. Ph.D. thesis. Cornell University. DAI 35:6112A.
  9. Kock, Ernst Albin and Rudolf Meissner, eds. 1931. Skaldisches Lesebuch. 2 vols. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 17-18. Halle: Niemeyer.
  10. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  11. Internal references
  12. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 11’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 150.
  13. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 143-4.
  14. George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 253-4.
  15. George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 237.
  16. Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Leiðarvísan’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 137-78.
  17. George S. Tate 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Líknarbraut’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 228-86.
  18. Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 81’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 356.
  19. Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Gamli kanóki, Harmsól’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 70-132.
  20. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 63’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 58-9.
  21. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 98’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 673-5.
  22. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 65’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 131-2.
  23. Matthew Townend (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallvarðr háreksblesi, Knútsdrápa 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 236.
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