Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Continue

Lexicon Poeticum

Lexicon Poeticum

Menu Search

Anon (ÓT) 3I/7 — borðs ‘of the gunwale’

Leika barðs á borði
byrhreins fyr þér einum
— gramr mun á foldu fremri
fár — sex tigir ára.
Mér leikr einn ok annarr
ǫldu sveipr í greipum
(því verðk) borðs á barða
(bæginn fyr þér vægja).

Sex tigir ára leika á borði byrhreins barðs fyr þér einum; fár gramr á foldu mun fremri. Einn ok annarr sveipr ǫldu leikr í greipum mér á barða borðs; því verðk, bæginn, fyr þér vægja.

Sixty oars swing on the gunwale of the breeze-reindeer of the stem [SHIP], for you alone; few rulers on earth can be more outstanding. One and another sweeper of the wave [OAR] plays in my grip on the whale of the gunwale [SHIP]; therefore I must, though combative, yield to you.

notes

[7] barða borðs ‘the whale of the gunwale [SHIP]’: (a) While not entirely satisfactory, this kenning, first proposed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI; see also NN §2108), is the best resolution of the difficulties these words present. There is no other extant ship-kenning based on a word for ‘whale’. Barði m. ‘whale’ is moreover rather rare. It occurs once in the skaldic corpus, in a snake-kenning (barði lyngs ‘whale of the heather’, ESkál Vell 30/5-6), but not in ON prose, though it does exist in ModIcel.; cf. also ON barðhvalr m. ‘baleen whale’, possibly ‘sperm whale’ (ONP). The repetition of words from the first helmingr must be deliberate, and this may strengthen the case for a recherché kenning. Line 7’s sveipr ǫldu ‘sweeper of the wave [OAR]’ also lacks certain parallels, though cf. Ótt Hfl 4/6 sundvarpaði, apparently ‘sea-thrower [OAR]’. (b) Finnur Jónsson takes barði borðs as a circumlocution for ‘ship’, made up of barði ‘ship’ plus borðs ‘of planking’ (LP: 2. barði, see also borð 3). It cannot be a kenning on this basis, however, as barði means ‘ship’ by itself (Meissner 222), and ‘ship of planking’ is not a very convincing circumlocution. (c) Kock (Skald; NN §514) takes borðs á barði with the rest of ll. 7-8, which is a possible alternative.

kennings

grammar

Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Word in text

This view shows information about an instance of a word in a text.