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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Gyðingsvísur, 5 [Vol. 7, 521-2]

[5] alsnauður ‘completely impoverished’: Without the svarabhakti vowel, l. 5 is a syllable short, so the desyllabified adj. is metrically necessary. Kock (NN §2981) objects to Skj B’s normalisation to alsnauður on the grounds that similar forms are not found elsewhere in Gyð (but see Note to 7/1). He suggests that the metre be regularized by inserting þá ‘then’ after varð. We are not, however, in any doubt as to the timescale of the rich man’s descent into penury, since the poet (whose ambitious man-kenning is straining his versification) tells us twice: á lesti ‘eventually’ (l. 6) and til lykta ‘in the end’ (l. 7). Kock’s emendation would thus introduce a semantically redundant form here.


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