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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 54. Hallar-Steinn, 1. Rekstefja, 31 [Vol. 1, 933]

[3, 4] dimmt dvergregn* dýrðar ‘the dark dwarf-rain [POETRY] of glory’: A reference to the myth of the mead of poetry (cf. Note to st. 8/3). Emendation of the mss’ regns to regn ‘rain’ is necessary to provide the object to megnum ‘we [I] strengthen’, and to match dimmt (n. acc. sg.) ‘dark’. The ÓT reading dýrðar ‘of glory’ is adopted in preference to Bb(112rb)’s dreyra ‘blood’ since ‘dark rain of the dwarf-blood’ is not a well-formed kenning, and since the blood in the myth comes from Kvasir rather than a dwarf (SnE 1998, I, 3; cf. SnE 2005, 48). Consequentially dyggðar ‘for virtue’ is preferred to a repeat of dýrðar in l. 8. The adj. dimmt ‘dark’ has been variously interpreted, including as an allusion to the obscurity of skaldic poetry (Skj B), or as Hallar-Steinn’s modest reference to the lacklustre nature of his poem compared with the king’s glorious deeds (NN §1185; de Vries 1964-7, II, 42).

references

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