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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 18. Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, 2. Vellekla, 5 [Vol. 1, 289]

[2, 4] hertýs vín-Gnóðar austr ‘the bilge-water of the Gnóð <ship> of the wine of the army-god [(lit. ‘bilge-water of the wine-Gnóð of the army-god’) = Óðinn > POEM > VAT > POEM]’: Another kenning based on the myth of the mead of poetry (see Note to st. 1 [All]). Reciting poetry is represented by the image of pouring the mead of poetry out of its vat. In harmony with the sea imagery of the introductory stanzas the poet chooses Gnóð, a ship’s name (see Þul Skipa 3/1III; Introduction to Anon GnóðÁsmIII), as the base-word of the kenning for the vat, and accordingly uses ausa austr ‘to bale the bilge-water’ for pouring out the mead of poetry. Austr thus becomes the base-word of the kenning for ‘poem’ (Marold 1994a, 474).


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