skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 29II/2 — ara ‘the eagle’s’

Blóðorra lætr barri
bragningr ara fagna;
Gauts berr sigð á sveita
svans ǫrð konungr Hǫrða.

Bragningr lætr blóðorra fagna barri ara; konungr Hǫrða berr sigð Gauts á ǫrð svans sveita.

The sovereign lets the blood-grouse [RAVEN] rejoice in the eagle’s barley [CORPSES]; the king of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr] wields the sickle of Gautr <= Óðinn> [SWORD] on the corn of the swan of blood [RAVEN > CORPSES].

notes

[1, 2] blóðorra; ara ‘the blood-grouse [RAVEN]; the eagle’s’: Both these phrases referring to birds are grammatically ambiguous. It is assumed here that blóðorra is acc. sg., object of lætr ‘lets’ and subject of fagna ‘rejoice’, while ara ‘eagle’s’ is the gen. sg. determinant of the kenning whose base-word is barri ‘barley’, l. 1, and which refers to corpses or carrion, but the reverse could also apply (as assumed in Skj B). They could also both be alternatively pl. rather than sg. Orri is usually taken as Lyrurus tetrix, the black grouse (CVC has Tetrao tetrix ‘heathcock, moor-fowl’).

kennings

grammar

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