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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 7II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 583-4.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur
678

Hengik ‘I hang’

1. hanga (verb): hang

Close

hanga ‘of hanged ones’

hangi (noun m.; °-a): hanged one

kennings

sylg Grímnis hanga.
‘the drink of the Grímnir of hanged ones. ’
   = POETRY

the Grímnir of hanged ones. → Óðinn
the drink of ÓÐINN → POETRY

notes

[2, 4] sylg Grímnis hanga ‘the drink of the Grímnir <giant> of hanged ones [= Óðinn > POETRY]’: So Kock (NN §489). This kenning is not unproblematic, because Grímnir is a name for Óðinn, and ‘the drink of Grímnir <= Óðinn> of hanged ones’ is hyperdetermined. But as Kock points out (NN §489), there are such parallels as geir-Skǫgul ‘spear-Skǫgul’ i.e. ‘valkyrie’ (where Skǫgul is also the name of a valkyrie; for other examples, see Meissner 397), and Grímnir is also the name of a giant (LP: Grímnir 2; the solution preferred in this edn).

Close

hanga ‘of hanged ones’

hangi (noun m.; °-a): hanged one

kennings

sylg Grímnis hanga.
‘the drink of the Grímnir of hanged ones. ’
   = POETRY

the Grímnir of hanged ones. → Óðinn
the drink of ÓÐINN → POETRY

notes

[2, 4] sylg Grímnis hanga ‘the drink of the Grímnir <giant> of hanged ones [= Óðinn > POETRY]’: So Kock (NN §489). This kenning is not unproblematic, because Grímnir is a name for Óðinn, and ‘the drink of Grímnir <= Óðinn> of hanged ones’ is hyperdetermined. But as Kock points out (NN §489), there are such parallels as geir-Skǫgul ‘spear-Skǫgul’ i.e. ‘valkyrie’ (where Skǫgul is also the name of a valkyrie; for other examples, see Meissner 397), and Grímnir is also the name of a giant (LP: Grímnir 2; the solution preferred in this edn).

Close

rjúfum ‘we [I] reveal’

rjúfa (verb): break

[2] rjúfum: rjúpu all

notes

[2] rjúfum ‘we [I] reveal’: Ms. rjúpu ‘ptarmigan’ (f. sg. oblique) is otherwise not attested in poetry (except in the þulur; see LP: rjúpa). According to Fritzner the verb rjúfa can mean røbe, aabenbare ‘display, reveal’ (rjúfa 4), used of written texts. According to the Orkn prose, on the occasion when Rǫgnvaldr recited this st., he was so cheerful that he played with his fingers ok orti nær við hvert orð ‘and composed almost with every word’ (see Context above and Note to l. 8 below), i.e. he revealed the mead of poetry and created a poem.

Close

tangar ‘of the tongs’

tǫng (noun f.; °tangar, dat. -u/-; tengr/tangir): tongs

kennings

galga tangar;
‘the gallows of the tongs; ’
   = ARM

the gallows of the tongs; → ARM
Close

Grímnis ‘of the Grímnir’

Grímnir (noun m.): Grimnir

kennings

sylg Grímnis hanga.
‘the drink of the Grímnir of hanged ones. ’
   = POETRY

the Grímnir of hanged ones. → Óðinn
the drink of ÓÐINN → POETRY

notes

[2, 4] sylg Grímnis hanga ‘the drink of the Grímnir <giant> of hanged ones [= Óðinn > POETRY]’: So Kock (NN §489). This kenning is not unproblematic, because Grímnir is a name for Óðinn, and ‘the drink of Grímnir <= Óðinn> of hanged ones’ is hyperdetermined. But as Kock points out (NN §489), there are such parallels as geir-Skǫgul ‘spear-Skǫgul’ i.e. ‘valkyrie’ (where Skǫgul is also the name of a valkyrie; for other examples, see Meissner 397), and Grímnir is also the name of a giant (LP: Grímnir 2; the solution preferred in this edn).

Close

Grímnis ‘of the Grímnir’

Grímnir (noun m.): Grimnir

kennings

sylg Grímnis hanga.
‘the drink of the Grímnir of hanged ones. ’
   = POETRY

the Grímnir of hanged ones. → Óðinn
the drink of ÓÐINN → POETRY

notes

[2, 4] sylg Grímnis hanga ‘the drink of the Grímnir <giant> of hanged ones [= Óðinn > POETRY]’: So Kock (NN §489). This kenning is not unproblematic, because Grímnir is a name for Óðinn, and ‘the drink of Grímnir <= Óðinn> of hanged ones’ is hyperdetermined. But as Kock points out (NN §489), there are such parallels as geir-Skǫgul ‘spear-Skǫgul’ i.e. ‘valkyrie’ (where Skǫgul is also the name of a valkyrie; for other examples, see Meissner 397), and Grímnir is also the name of a giant (LP: Grímnir 2; the solution preferred in this edn).

Close

sylg ‘the drink’

sylgr (noun m.; °dat. -): drink, draught

[3] sylg: sylgs R702ˣ, papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ, 743ˣ

kennings

sylg Grímnis hanga.
‘the drink of the Grímnir of hanged ones. ’
   = POETRY

the Grímnir of hanged ones. → Óðinn
the drink of ÓÐINN → POETRY

notes

[2, 4] sylg Grímnis hanga ‘the drink of the Grímnir <giant> of hanged ones [= Óðinn > POETRY]’: So Kock (NN §489). This kenning is not unproblematic, because Grímnir is a name for Óðinn, and ‘the drink of Grímnir <= Óðinn> of hanged ones’ is hyperdetermined. But as Kock points out (NN §489), there are such parallels as geir-Skǫgul ‘spear-Skǫgul’ i.e. ‘valkyrie’ (where Skǫgul is also the name of a valkyrie; for other examples, see Meissner 397), and Grímnir is also the name of a giant (LP: Grímnir 2; the solution preferred in this edn).

Close

galga ‘the gallows’

galgi (noun m.): gallows

kennings

galga tangar;
‘the gallows of the tongs; ’
   = ARM

the gallows of the tongs; → ARM
Close

ginnungs ‘of the hawk’

ginnungi (noun m.): [abyss, hawks, hawk]

[4] ginnungs: ginnung R702ˣ, ginnung corrected from ‘ginnungs’ 743ˣ

kennings

linna brúar ginnungs,
‘a snake of the bridge of the hawk, ’
   = ARM-RING

the bridge of the hawk, → ARM
a snake of the ARM → ARM-RING
Close

ginnungs ‘of the hawk’

ginnungi (noun m.): [abyss, hawks, hawk]

[4] ginnungs: ginnung R702ˣ, ginnung corrected from ‘ginnungs’ 743ˣ

kennings

linna brúar ginnungs,
‘a snake of the bridge of the hawk, ’
   = ARM-RING

the bridge of the hawk, → ARM
a snake of the ARM → ARM-RING
Close

brúar ‘of the bridge’

brú (noun f.; °-ar; brúar/brýr/brúr(Hák81 557ˆ)): bridge, causeway

kennings

linna brúar ginnungs,
‘a snake of the bridge of the hawk, ’
   = ARM-RING

the bridge of the hawk, → ARM
a snake of the ARM → ARM-RING
Close

brúar ‘of the bridge’

brú (noun f.; °-ar; brúar/brýr/brúr(Hák81 557ˆ)): bridge, causeway

kennings

linna brúar ginnungs,
‘a snake of the bridge of the hawk, ’
   = ARM-RING

the bridge of the hawk, → ARM
a snake of the ARM → ARM-RING
Close

linna ‘a snake’

linni (noun m.): serpent

kennings

linna brúar ginnungs,
‘a snake of the bridge of the hawk, ’
   = ARM-RING

the bridge of the hawk, → ARM
a snake of the ARM → ARM-RING
Close

Svá ‘so much’

svá (adv.): so, thus

Close

gló ‘of the gleaming’

glóa (verb): glow < glórǫdd (noun f.)

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3).

Close

gló ‘of the gleaming’

glóa (verb): glow < glórǫdd (noun f.)

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3).

Close

raddar ‘voice’

rǫdd (noun f.; °raddar, dat. -/u; raddir): voice < glórǫdd (noun f.)

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3).

Close

raddar ‘voice’

rǫdd (noun f.; °raddar, dat. -/u; raddir): voice < glórǫdd (noun f.)

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3).

Close

gag ‘of the backward-bending’

gagr (adj.): [backward-bending] < gagfellir (noun m.)

[6] gag‑: galg R702ˣ

kennings

mínar lautir gagfellis lóns.
‘my hollows of the backward-bending feller of the lagoon.’
   = HANDS

the backward-bending feller of the lagoon. → OAR
my hollows of the OAR → HANDS

notes

[6] gagfellis ‘of the backward-bending feller’: This refers to a sword, which is pulled up and back before striking the blow that fells. Cf. gagr adj. ‘bent or thrown backwards’, and fellir as a sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 6/1III, 9/1III.

Close

gag ‘of the backward-bending’

gagr (adj.): [backward-bending] < gagfellir (noun m.)

[6] gag‑: galg R702ˣ

kennings

mínar lautir gagfellis lóns.
‘my hollows of the backward-bending feller of the lagoon.’
   = HANDS

the backward-bending feller of the lagoon. → OAR
my hollows of the OAR → HANDS

notes

[6] gagfellis ‘of the backward-bending feller’: This refers to a sword, which is pulled up and back before striking the blow that fells. Cf. gagr adj. ‘bent or thrown backwards’, and fellir as a sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 6/1III, 9/1III.

Close

fellis ‘feller’

fellir (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i): slayer, feller < gagfellir (noun m.)

[6] ‑fellis: so R702ˣ, fells Flat

kennings

mínar lautir gagfellis lóns.
‘my hollows of the backward-bending feller of the lagoon.’
   = HANDS

the backward-bending feller of the lagoon. → OAR
my hollows of the OAR → HANDS

notes

[6] gagfellis ‘of the backward-bending feller’: This refers to a sword, which is pulled up and back before striking the blow that fells. Cf. gagr adj. ‘bent or thrown backwards’, and fellir as a sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 6/1III, 9/1III.

Close

fellis ‘feller’

fellir (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i): slayer, feller < gagfellir (noun m.)

[6] ‑fellis: so R702ˣ, fells Flat

kennings

mínar lautir gagfellis lóns.
‘my hollows of the backward-bending feller of the lagoon.’
   = HANDS

the backward-bending feller of the lagoon. → OAR
my hollows of the OAR → HANDS

notes

[6] gagfellis ‘of the backward-bending feller’: This refers to a sword, which is pulled up and back before striking the blow that fells. Cf. gagr adj. ‘bent or thrown backwards’, and fellir as a sword-heiti in Þul Sverða 6/1III, 9/1III.

Close

þella ‘The fir-tree’

þella (noun f.): fir, young pine

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3).

Close

lóns ‘of the lagoon’

2. lón (noun n.; °-s; -): lagoon

[7] lóns: so R702ˣ, ‘loms’ Flat

kennings

mínar lautir gagfellis lóns.
‘my hollows of the backward-bending feller of the lagoon.’
   = HANDS

the backward-bending feller of the lagoon. → OAR
my hollows of the OAR → HANDS
Close

lóns ‘of the lagoon’

2. lón (noun n.; °-s; -): lagoon

[7] lóns: so R702ˣ, ‘loms’ Flat

kennings

mínar lautir gagfellis lóns.
‘my hollows of the backward-bending feller of the lagoon.’
   = HANDS

the backward-bending feller of the lagoon. → OAR
my hollows of the OAR → HANDS
Close

leikk ‘I play’

3. leika (verb): play

Close

mínar ‘my’

minn (pron.; °f. mín, n. mitt): my

[7] mínar: so R702ˣ, mína Flat

kennings

mínar lautir gagfellis lóns.
‘my hollows of the backward-bending feller of the lagoon.’
   = HANDS

the backward-bending feller of the lagoon. → OAR
my hollows of the OAR → HANDS
Close

lautir ‘hollows’

laut (noun f.): dell, hollow

[8] lautir: ‘laurir’ R702ˣ

kennings

mínar lautir gagfellis lóns.
‘my hollows of the backward-bending feller of the lagoon.’
   = HANDS

the backward-bending feller of the lagoon. → OAR
my hollows of the OAR → HANDS

notes

[8] lautir ‘hollows’: Although this is sometimes translated ‘fingers’ (e.g. Skj B), the meanings of this word suggest rather the palms of the hand. This can be reconciled with the prose context (hann lék við fingra sinna ‘he played with his fingers’) by assuming that he is drumming on the palm of one hand with the fingers of the other. It is conceivable that the action represents the poet keeping track of his rhymes and syllables while composing a st.

Close

hellis ‘of the cave’

hellir (noun m.; °-s/hells, dat. -i; -ar, acc. -a/-ra): cave

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3).

Close

hellis ‘of the cave’

hellir (noun m.; °-s/hells, dat. -i; -ar, acc. -a/-ra): cave

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3).

Close

hellis ‘of the cave’

hellir (noun m.; °-s/hells, dat. -i; -ar, acc. -a/-ra): cave

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3).

Close

Gauta ‘of the Gautar’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

[8] Gauta: gaura R702ˣ

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3). — [8] Gauta ‘of the Gautar’: Gautar (OE Geatas) are the inhabitants of Götaland in Sweden, but Gauti and Gautr are also names of Óðinn, in keeping with several Odinic references in this st.

Close

Gauta ‘of the Gautar’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

[8] Gauta: gaura R702ˣ

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3). — [8] Gauta ‘of the Gautar’: Gautar (OE Geatas) are the inhabitants of Götaland in Sweden, but Gauti and Gautr are also names of Óðinn, in keeping with several Odinic references in this st.

Close

Gauta ‘of the Gautar’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

[8] Gauta: gaura R702ˣ

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3). — [8] Gauta ‘of the Gautar’: Gautar (OE Geatas) are the inhabitants of Götaland in Sweden, but Gauti and Gautr are also names of Óðinn, in keeping with several Odinic references in this st.

Close

Gauta ‘of the Gautar’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

[8] Gauta: gaura R702ˣ

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3). — [8] Gauta ‘of the Gautar’: Gautar (OE Geatas) are the inhabitants of Götaland in Sweden, but Gauti and Gautr are also names of Óðinn, in keeping with several Odinic references in this st.

Close

Gauta ‘of the Gautar’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

[8] Gauta: gaura R702ˣ

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3). — [8] Gauta ‘of the Gautar’: Gautar (OE Geatas) are the inhabitants of Götaland in Sweden, but Gauti and Gautr are also names of Óðinn, in keeping with several Odinic references in this st.

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Gauta ‘of the Gautar’

gauti (noun m.): man, Geat

[8] Gauta: gaura R702ˣ

kennings

Þella glóraddar Gauta hellis
‘The fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave ’
   = WOMAN

the Gautar of the cave → GIANTS
the gleaming-voice of GIANTS → GOLD
The fir-tree of the GOLD → WOMAN

notes

[5, 6, 8] þella glóraddar Gauta hellis ‘the fir-tree of the gleaming-voice of the Gautar of the cave [GIANTS > GOLD > WOMAN]’: The identity of this woman is obscure. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34, 196 n.) suggests that the st. could have been misplaced and that the woman who gladdened Rǫgnvaldr was the mistress of the farm who presented him with a leather garment after the shipwreck (see st. 9 below). The ‘gleaming voice of giants’ refers to the myth in which a giant’s gold was measured in mouthfuls (SnE 1998, I, 3). — [8] Gauta ‘of the Gautar’: Gautar (OE Geatas) are the inhabitants of Götaland in Sweden, but Gauti and Gautr are also names of Óðinn, in keeping with several Odinic references in this st.

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This st. is cited by Orkn after the description of the shipwreck in Shetland (see Context of st. 8) but before the other sts (sts 8-11) which more obviously refer to that shipwreck. It may be misplaced (ÍF 34, 196 n.). The saga relates that Rǫgnvaldr was cheerful, played with his fingers and kept on composing poetry. In LaufE, the first half-st. is cited as an example of kennings for hringr ‘ring’ and mistakenly attributed to Arnórr (jarlaskáld; Arn).

Frank 1972 develops an elaborate interpretation in which this st. is not about a woman, but about Rǫgnvaldr’s ship Hjǫlp, as he ironically gives it a gold ring while it sinks. This interpretation does help to situate the st. in its prose context better than any other, but it depends on a double ofljóst ‘too transparent’ and Frank acknowledges that there is ‘no recognized double-entendre linking women and ships in Old Norse poetry’ (1972, 231). — This st. is introduced by Hann dró fingrgull af fingri sér [R702ˣ adds með vǫrrunum] ok kvað vísu ‘He pulled a golden ring from his finger [with his lips] and spoke a verse’. De Geer (1985, 222-4) considers the possibility that the episode alludes to the playing of a musical instrument. — [1-4]: As Bibire (1988, 229) notes, ‘Overall interpretation of the verse is uncontroversial, although the two major kennings in the first half-strophe are in any interpretation difficult’. The interpretation here largely follows that of Kock (Skald; NN §489). Skj B links hanga with galga and tangar to give a hand-kenning (hanga-galga tangar translated as den nedhængende hånd ‘the dangling hand’) and emends ms. rjúpu ‘ptarmigan’ to a verb, réttum lit. ‘we straighten’, which, taken together with Grímnis sylg, gives an intercalated statement jeg gör et lige vers ‘I make a straight verse’ (presumably ironic). While protesting at Finnur’s methods, Kock (NN §489) also comes up with a solution that refers to the composition of poetry: he takes hanga ‘of hanged ones’ with Grímnis and assumes an otherwise unrecorded verb rjúpum to give jag rycker åt mig gudadrycken ‘I pull the divine drink towards me’. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (in ÍF 34, following a suggestion by Ólafur M. Ólafsson) takes hanga with ms. rjúpu and construes hanga rjúpu. According to that interpretation, rjúpu hanga ‘of the ptarmigan of the hanged one [WOMAN]’ is an obscene pun, in that gás ‘goose’ (and thereby any f. bird-word) can refer to the vagina (cf. Fritzner: gás), while ‘hanged one’ is a reference to a penis. The problem with that construction is that ‘the vagina of the penis’ cannot be a kenning for ‘woman’, since ‘vagina’ in itself would be a pars pro toto expression for ‘woman’ and ‘penis’ is not a determinant.

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