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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 54. Hallar-Steinn, 1. Rekstefja, 11 [Vol. 1, 909]

[1, 4] skyndir éla þey*s Gǫndlar ‘hastener of the storms of the thawing wind of Gǫndul <valkyrie> [BATTLE > ARROWS > WARRIOR]’: (a) The minor emendation of þeyrs to þeys produces an acceptable kenning structure, with þeys Gǫndlar ‘of the thawing wind of Gǫndul [BATTLE]’ as the determinant of a kenning for ‘arrows’ or ‘arrow-showers’ (cf. SnE 1998, I, 67 for kennings for missiles based on terms referring to precipitation such as hagl ‘hail’). (b) Since þeyr ‘thawing wind’ and él ‘storm’ can both function as the base-word of a battle-kenning, this kenning could be seen as overloaded, and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) seems to regard éla ‘storms’ as a redundant element in the battle-kenning éla Gǫndlar þeys ‘the storms of Gǫndul’s thawing wind’ rather than being an independent kenning element. There is a possible parallel to this in the use of hríð ‘storm’ in st. 34/6, 7 (see Note).


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