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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 52. Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr, 2 [Vol. 1, 880]

[3-4] blǫkk borð óðu í blóði ‘black planks advanced through blood’: Borð ‘plank’ (here nom. pl.) is frequently used as a pars pro toto expression for ‘ship’ (Jesch 2001a, 140), as it may be here, but the literal meaning is also possible, and would allow for reference to a single ship, perhaps specifically Erlingr’s, rather than generally to all those involved in the battle. The adj. blakkr ‘dark, black’ may suggest the tarring of the hull, as in Þloft Tøgdr 3/2, 4 kolsvartir viðir ‘coal-black ships’. Bleik ‘pale’ in several ÓH mss and brún ‘brown’ in Fsk are also metrically possible.


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