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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞGísl Búdr 7I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 7’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 948.

Þorkell GíslasonBúadrápa
678

hræs ‘of the corpse’

hræ (noun n.; °; -): corpse, carrion

[1] hræs: hregg‑ 53, 54, Bb

kennings

Haukar hræs
‘The hawks of the corpse ’
   = RAVENS/EAGLES

The hawks of the corpse → RAVENS/EAGLES

notes

[1] haukar hræs ‘the hawks of the corpse [RAVENS/EAGLES]’: This is a common pattern of kenning for a bird of battle. The cpd hregghaukar ‘storm-hawks’ in 53, 54, Bb could stand if hregg ‘storm’ is taken, unusually, as a heiti for ‘battle’ (cf. Note to Jǫk Lv 1/3) and the referent thereby as ravens or eagles.

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haukar ‘The hawks’

1. haukr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): hawk

kennings

Haukar hræs
‘The hawks of the corpse ’
   = RAVENS/EAGLES

The hawks of the corpse → RAVENS/EAGLES

notes

[1] haukar hræs ‘the hawks of the corpse [RAVENS/EAGLES]’: This is a common pattern of kenning for a bird of battle. The cpd hregghaukar ‘storm-hawks’ in 53, 54, Bb could stand if hregg ‘storm’ is taken, unusually, as a heiti for ‘battle’ (cf. Note to Jǫk Lv 1/3) and the referent thereby as ravens or eagles.

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hvassir ‘sharp’

hvass (adj.; °-an; -ari, -astr): keen, sharp

kennings

hvassir benlaukar
‘sharp wound-leeks ’
   = SWORDS

sharp wound-leeks → SWORDS
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ben ‘wound’

1. ben (noun f.; °-jar, dat. -; -jar , gen. -a(var. EiðKrC 402¹³: AM 77 4°— “D”)): wound < benlaukr (noun m.): [wound-leeks]

kennings

hvassir benlaukar
‘sharp wound-leeks ’
   = SWORDS

sharp wound-leeks → SWORDS
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laukar ‘leeks’

laukr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): leek, mast < benlaukr (noun m.): [wound-leeks]

kennings

hvassir benlaukar
‘sharp wound-leeks ’
   = SWORDS

sharp wound-leeks → SWORDS
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skýfðu ‘slashed’

skýfa (verb): cut, slash

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hauks ‘the hawk’

1. haukr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): hawk

kennings

fjǫllum hauks.
‘for the mountains of the hawk. ’
   = ARMS

for the mountains of the hawk. → ARMS
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fjǫllum ‘for the mountains of’

1. fjall (noun n.): mountain

kennings

fjǫllum hauks.
‘for the mountains of the hawk. ’
   = ARMS

for the mountains of the hawk. → ARMS
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fjǫrnis ‘of the helmet’

fjǫrnir (noun m.): helmet

[8] fjǫrnis: ‘fornis’ Bb

kennings

stǫllum fjǫrnis;
‘the supports of the helmet; ’
   = HEADS

the supports of the helmet; → HEADS

notes

[8] stǫllum fjǫrnis ‘the supports of the helmet [HEADS]’: See Note to st. 6/4.

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stǫllum ‘the supports’

stallr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): seat, stall, support

kennings

stǫllum fjǫrnis;
‘the supports of the helmet; ’
   = HEADS

the supports of the helmet; → HEADS

notes

[8] stǫllum fjǫrnis ‘the supports of the helmet [HEADS]’: See Note to st. 6/4.

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The battle continues. Although the Jómsvíkingar have bigger ships, both sides fight most boldly. A great number of Hákon jarl’s men are struck down by arrows and stones.

[5-8]: An alternative possibility to the construal here is to read l. 5 as a self-contained clause and ll. 7-8 together, with the sense ‘there was no peace for the mountains of the hawk [ARMS] against the supports of the helmet [HEADS]’, i.e. warriors’ arms were busy in action against enemy heads. Ólafur Halldórsson (2000, 80) presents this alternative in his prose order; the other eds cited take l. 5 together with l. 8 as above.

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