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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Sturla Þórðarson, 3. Hrafnsmál, 17 [Vol. 2, 741-2]

[2] blikskerðir ‘gleam-diminisher [GENEROUS MAN]’: So NN §1360. According to this interpretation, blik- ‘gleam-’ is taken to mean ‘gold’ (see also LP: blik 1). Skj B emends bryn- ‘the byrnie-’ (l. 4) to brims ‘of the surf’ and construes the gold-kenning blik brims ‘the gleam of the surf’. Sverða ‘of swords’ (l. 2) is then taken with hríðar ‘of the storm’ (l. 4) (til hríðar sverða ‘to the storm of swords’, i.e. ‘to the battle’). This construction forces a separation of the unstressed prep. til ‘to’ from its object hríðar ‘the storm’ which does not otherwise occur in poetry. A more plausible emendation would be to change blik- to brík-: sverða bríkskerðir ‘the diminisher of the plank of swords’, i.e. ‘the diminisher of the shield’ (‘warrior’).

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