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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 2 [Vol. 7, 563-5]

[5] brjóst ‘heart’: Lit. ‘breast’. In ON homiletic and devotional literature the noun is used with the metaphorical meanings ‘mind, soul, understanding, disposition, courage’ (ONP: brjóst 5). The Lil skald frequently uses it in reference to himself, perhaps regarding it as the equivalent of Lat. anima. Cf. 54/5, 56/6, 76/7, 78/2, 81/4. He also uses it to refer to Lucifer and his devils (45/8, 48/8) and, in a more literal sense, to Mary’s breast (28/7, 87/1). In the penultimate st. of Lil he uses it to refer to the poem’s audience (99/1).


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