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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Hfl 1I l. 2

blás — black one


blár (adj.): black < myrkblár (adj.)


[2] ‑blás: ‘‑bals’ Tóm, 761bˣ


[2] myrkblás ‘dark black one’: The emendation is justifiable on the basis of the reading of Sigv Lv 2/2, and because the only ms. witness is the often unreliable Tóm. Kock’s attractive suggestion (NN §721) is that Óttarr is here referring to himself, with myrkblár as an onomastic play on his nickname svarti ‘black’; he cites as parallels examples such as naðrstunga ‘adder-tongue’ for (Gunnlaugr) ormstunga ‘Serpent-tongue’ and húnn ‘cub’ for Bersi ‘bear’ (on onomastic play see further Frank 1970). Óttarr is dexterously adapting Sigvatr’s line even as he reproduces it: in Sigvatr’s stanza myrkblár qualifies part of a ship-kenning (see Note ad loc.).



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