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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Gát 2III

Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Gátur 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 634.

Anonymous PoemsGátur

text and translation

Enn sá ek fljúga         öðru sinni:
skorinn línskauta         ok skip Þráins,
járn ór afli,         útleidda sál,
konu kjötnefnda         fyr kvið neðan.

Enn sá ek fljúga öðru sinni: skorinn línskauta ok skip Þráins, járn ór afli, útleidda sál, kjötnefnda konu fyr neðan kvið.
‘Again I saw fly a second time: cut linen-square and Þráinn’s ship, iron from the forge, transcended soul, named flesh of a woman below the belly.

notes and context

[7-8]: Kjötnefnda ‘named flesh’, lit. ‘flesh-named’, an adj. (f. acc. sg.) qualifying konu ‘woman’ (l. 7). This is a hap. leg. and its meaning is not secure. However the meaning of the entire phrase is clear enough; the homonyms are gás ‘female sexual organs’ (AEW, Fritzner: gás 2) and gás ‘goose’. Ms. 1562ˣ has the gloss grágás, lit. ‘grey goose’.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], D. 5. [b]. Andre gåder 2: AII, 228, BII, 248, Skald II, 129; SnE 1848, 239, LaufE 1979, 406.


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