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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 1. Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, 1. Ynglingatal, 18 [Vol. 1, 40]

[9-12]: These lines almost seem modern and romantic in their imagery: the rush of the sea is represented as the singing of songs for the enjoyment of a dead person. But caution is needed in projecting this notion back to such an early period because much remains uncertain: whether the king is buried in a mound or has, like most of his ancestors, been cremated on a funeral pyre, and whether his enjoying the rush of the sea is to be taken at face value or as ironic. (On an interpretation of the poem as an ironic composition see Introduction.) At gamni ‘to the delight’ is reminiscent of the erotic relationship between the goddess of death and a deceased prince elsewhere in Yt (see sts 7/4, 24/1 and Notes).


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