Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv I 9VII/6 — grát ‘grief’

Drepa liet brúðrin bráða
— bráð varð snót í ráðum —
mann saklausan sinnar
sótt af lífi dóttur.
Glóð-Nanna fekk græðis
grát af bóndaláti,
en mæðandi móðir
mein af sögðum greinum.

Sótt brúðrin bráða liet drepa saklausan mann dóttur sinnar af lífi; snót varð bráð í ráðum. Græðis glóð-Nanna fekk grát af bóndaláti, en móðir mæðandi mein af sögðum greinum.

The accused, impetuous woman caused the blameless husband of her daughter to lose his life [lit. to be struck from life]; the lady became impetuous in her counsels. The Nanna <goddess> of the glow of the sea [(lit. ‘the glow-Nanna of the sea’) GOLD > WOMAN] got grief [lit. weeping] from the husband’s death, and the mother oppressing harm for the said reasons.


[5-6] græðis glóð-Nanna fekk grát ‘the Nanna <goddess> of the glow of the sea [(lit. ‘the glow-Nanna of the sea’) GOLD > WOMAN] got grief [lit. weeping]’: This emendation is conjectural. The ms. reading can be construed as follows: græðir fekk grát glóðanna ‘the Saviour [or sea] got weeping of the embers’ or græðir glóðanna fekk grát ‘the Saviour [or sea] of the embers got weeping’. Neither of these readings makes any sense. It is easy to see how glóð-Nanna ‘glow-Nanna’ (lectio difficilior) could be confused with glóðanna ‘of the embers’ (lectio facilior) and the poetic word græðis ‘of the sea’ with the more familiar græðir ‘Saviour’. The goddess-name Nanna is also used as a base-word in kennings for ‘woman’ in Anon Mey 30/6 and Kálf Kátr 10/2 and 13/7. Most earlier eds emend to glóða Ná fekk græðis, in which Ná glóða græðis ‘the Ná of the embers of the sea’ must be a kenning for ‘woman’ (so Sperber; Skj B; Skald; Wrightson). That l. is syntactically and metrically impossible: in the corpus of dróttkvætt poetry there is no other sentence-introductory Type-A l. in which a trisyllabic cpd in position 1-3 is followed by the finite verb. Furthermore, it is not clear who is supposed to be. There is no entry in LP, but presumably it is a late, otherwise unattested form of the name of the goddess Gn (with loss of initial g-).



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