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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 10VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 10’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 15-16.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
91011

Ǫld ‘men’

ǫld (noun f.; °; aldir): people, age

[1] Ǫld: Oss Bb

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samir ‘It is fitting’

2. sama (verb): befit

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Óláfs ‘Óláfr’

Óláfr (noun m.): Óláfr

[1] Óláfs: enn at Bb

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gilda ‘able’

gilda (verb): appraise

[1] gilda: þessu Bb

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oss ‘for us [me]’

vér (pron.; °gen. vár, dat./acc. oss): we, us, our

[3] oss at: aldar Bb

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at ‘to’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[3] oss at: aldar Bb

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óð ‘poetry’

1. óðr (noun m.): poem < óðgerð (noun f.)

[3] óðgerð: Óláfs Bb

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gerð ‘making’

1. gerð (noun f.): deed < óðgerð (noun f.)

[3] óðgerð: Óláfs Bb

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ítr ‘of high’

ítr (adj.): glorious < ítrgeðr (adj.)

notes

[4] ítrgeðs (m. gen. sg.) ‘of the high-minded’: The meaning of the first element of the cpd is clear, but there is no precedent for an adj. geðr. Geð, a n. noun, is well attested, and Kock proposes a nominal compound ítrgeð ‘high-minded one’. In his interpretation the helmingr reads ‘it is fitting for us to summon Óláfr’s able men to this poetry-making, to the praise of the high-minded one’ (NN §929). But ítrgeð is unlikely as a noun, and the lexicographers allow an adj. ítrgeðr; cf. LP: ítrgeðr (also CVC; ONP).

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geðs ‘minded’

geð (noun n.): mind < ítrgeðr (adj.)

notes

[4] ítrgeðs (m. gen. sg.) ‘of the high-minded’: The meaning of the first element of the cpd is clear, but there is no precedent for an adj. geðr. Geð, a n. noun, is well attested, and Kock proposes a nominal compound ítrgeð ‘high-minded one’. In his interpretation the helmingr reads ‘it is fitting for us to summon Óláfr’s able men to this poetry-making, to the praise of the high-minded one’ (NN §929). But ítrgeð is unlikely as a noun, and the lexicographers allow an adj. ítrgeðr; cf. LP: ítrgeðr (also CVC; ONP).

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kveðja ‘to summon’

2. kveðja (verb): say, greet

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aldri ‘never’

aldri (adv.): never

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vildra ‘a more agreeable’

vilðr (adj.): desirable

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vall ‘field’

vǫllr (noun m.; °vallar, dat. velli; vellir acc. vǫllu/velli): plain, field < vallrjóðandi (noun m.)

kennings

allra vallrjóðanda.
‘of all field-reddeners.’
   = WARRIORS

all field-reddeners. → WARRIORS
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rjóðanda ‘reddeners’

rjóðandi (noun m.): reddener < vallrjóðandi (noun m.)

kennings

allra vallrjóðanda.
‘of all field-reddeners.’
   = WARRIORS

all field-reddeners. → WARRIORS
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allra ‘of all’

allr (adj.): all

kennings

allra vallrjóðanda.
‘of all field-reddeners.’
   = WARRIORS

all field-reddeners. → WARRIORS
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samir ‘it befits’

2. sama (verb): befit

[7] samir: dugir Bb

notes

[7] samir ‘it befits’: Bb has dugir with much the same meaning and is chosen in both Skj B and Skald, perhaps because samir is also used in l. 1.

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fremðar ‘of men of accomplishment’

fremð (noun f.): honour < fremðarmaðr (noun m.)

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

[1-4]: There is a discrepancy between the two ms. versions of the first helmingr. Bb reads: Oss samir enn at þessu –, | orðgnóttar biðk dróttin | aldar – Óláfs gilda | ítrgeðs lofi kveðja. This may be translated: ‘It is fitting for us [me] further to summon [people] to this praise of the able, high-minded Óláfr; I ask the Lord of men [= God] for word-wealth’. There are no metrical or grammatical flaws in the Bb version, but the syntax is awkward: both the weak adj. gilda and the strong adj. ítrgeðs must be construed with Óláfs. In the Flat version, ǫld can be construed with gilda, providing a link with the second helmingr that is schematic as well as thematic: ll. 1 and 5 have the same triple-rhyme scheme (ǫld : Ól- : gild-; ald : vál : vild-). Line 2 is a complete parenthetic phrase, preferable to Bb’s biðk aldar dróttin orðgnóttar. Flat probably represents the original text: at some point in the transmission of the Bb version ll. 1 and 3 were transposed, and then later emended by a scribe attempting to make sense of the helmingr.

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