SK┴LDSKAPARM┴L v53:1-4

Codex RegiusCodex TrajectinusCodex WormianusEmended & Modernized
v53 : 1-4 VariantsVariants 
■ra/ngvir gein vi­ ■vngvm■raungir (■reyngvir U)■rongvm, gœirŮr÷ngvir gein vi­ ■ungum
■angs ra/­ bita tangar  ■angs rau­bita tangar
qveldrvNiNa qNaqueldruninna kvennakvelldrunninna kvennakveldrunninna kvinna
kvNleGs ßlÝnmvNi.kvnnlegs a linmunnikvnnlegskunnleggs alinmunni.

This half-stanza is found in Chapter 11 of Skßldskaparmßl (verse #53), and attributed to EilÝfr. It can hardly be doubted that it belongs here. It is magnificently resounding, with the in-rhymes carried over two lines (■r÷ng-■ung-■ang-tang, runn-kvinn-kunn-munn), and extremely rich in N-sounds. I read:

Ůr÷ngvir kunnleggs kveldrunninna kvinna gein alinmunni vi­ ■ungum rau­bita tangar ■angs, i.e. "the oppressor of the kinfolk of evening-running women [١rr] opened wide the mouth of his arm [hand] at the heavy, red morsel of the tongs' seaweed [the glowing piece of iron]".

Ůr÷ngvir kunnleggs kveldrunninna kvinna ] "the oppressor of the kinfolk of women who run in the evening" is Thor. The women who run in the evening are, of course, giantesses. Cp. the term kveldri­a "evening-rider", i.e. troll-wife, witch, and the similar myrkri­a "darkness-rider". These unpleasant ladies were seen as riding on wolves after dark.

gein alinmunni vi­ ] Alinmunnr "mouth of the arm" is a kenning for hand. GÝna means "gape, yawn, open wide". In stanza 15, the giant thrust a red-hot lump of iron at Thor's mouth, his gin. The words gin and gÝna (gein) are cognates. Gein munni vi­ would mean "opened his mouth wide to receive". By replacing munni with alinmunni, the poet cleverly carries over the imagery of the last stanza. Thor "gapes" to receive the missile, but only with the last word of the half-stanza do we realize that it is not his actual mouth (munnr), but his "arm-mouth = hand" (alinmunnr), that opens wide to catch the glowing iron. This imagery is developed further in stanza 16.

■ungum rau­bita tangar ■angs ] "the heavy red lump of the sea-weed of the tongs". The molten iron is pictured as red seaweed dangling from the tongs. Biti can mean "piece of meat". In the last stanza, the lump of iron was referred to as segi so­inn afli "a morsel cooked in the forge". The poet is extremely consistent in his imagery.

VÚsteinn Ëlason has pointed out the sub-textual sexual imagery of this stanza and the next, and suggested that the poet was trying to trick his audience into misunderstanding these stanzas as referring to a sexual encounter between Thor and the giantesses. Ůr÷ngvir gein vi­ alinmunni might be punningly understood as "the thruster (phallus) gaped at the birth-mouth (vagina)", and kunnleggr kvinna as "the bone, which women are familiar with". Cp. stanza 16.

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