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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 12. Guthormr sindri, Hákonardrápa, 1 [Vol. 1, 157]

[4] drífu vífs Mistar ‘the snow-storm of the woman of Mist <valkyrie> [VALKYRIE > BATTLE]’: (a) The majority of eds interpret the phrase in this way. Here is it assumed that a ‘woman of Mist’ is one of this valkyrie’s entourage; cf. HHund II 7/4 systir Gunnar ‘sisters of Gunnr [VALKYRIES]’ (NK 152), and other redundant relationship terms in kennings, e.g. Anon Liðs 5/1, 4 hlýri ara ‘eagle’s brother [EAGLE]’. (b) Alternatively, mist could be a noun for ‘battle’ (as in Tindr Lv 2/7V (Heið 15)), its ‘woman’ a ‘valkyrie’ and the ‘snow-storm’ of the valkyrie again ‘battle’ (so Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: Mist; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). (c) Kock (NN §1929) emends vífs to knífs, to obtain a kenning drífu knífs Mistar ‘snow-storm of the knife of Mist <valkyrie> [SWORD > BATTLE]’, but emendation is not necessary.


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