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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 9 [Vol. 1, 569]

[7] svǫrr blóðs ‘the bird of blood [RAVEN/EAGLE]’: The species of the svǫrr remains unidentified (cf. NN §451A), and the rarity of this base-word evidently caused confusion in transmission. The variant svanr ‘swan’, although well represented, is probably the result of scribal emendation. Also productive of confusion is Sigvatr’s contrived placement of the two gen.-case nouns gunnsylgs ‘of battle-draught’ and blóðs ‘of blood’ in advance of the base-word svǫrr ‘bird’, so that the listener must decide which connects to svǫrr and which to fekk ‘gained’ (which in this sense takes a gen. object). The solution adopted here follows Kock (NN §485); Finnur Jónsson’s gunnsvǫrr fekk blóðs sylg ‘the battle-bird [RAVEN] got blood to drink’ (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) unnecessarily assumes tmesis of the cpd; Sigvatr is not otherwise known for his use of this device.

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