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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa, 28 [Vol. 7, 501-2]

[5-8]: The reconstruction and interpretation of this helmingr follows Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (NN §1653; Skald) in retaining the dat. stæri (l. 6) and construing it with bragar, gen. sg. m. of bragr ‘poem’, to form a kenning for the poet ‘increaser of the poem’, here qualified with m. dat. sg. adj. blindum ‘blind’ (l. 7). The blindness referred to here may be physical or spiritual. The 399a-bˣ transcript contains tentative readings/reconstructions of mátt acc. ‘strength, power’ in l. 5 and í þrautum ‘in struggles’ in l. 8. The helmingr is thus interpreted as a statement that the Virgin gave the poet the power to turn away from (spiritual?) death (mátt að venda braut ór grýttri gröf ‘power to turn away from a stony grave’) and the strength required for his spiritual battles (styrk í þrautum ‘strength in struggles’).


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