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Near a wood, the goddess Sif rests her head on a stump while Loki lurks behind, blade in hand. Loki intends to cut Sif's hair per a myth recounted in Skáldskaparmál.

Skáldskaparmál (Old Norse: 'The Language of Poetry';[1] c. 50,000 words; Old Norse pronunciation: [ˈskaldskaparˌmɒːl]; Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈskaultˌskaːparˌmauːl̥]) is the second part of the Prose Edda.

The section consists of a dialogue between Ægir, the divine personification of the sea, and Bragi, the god of poetry, in which both Norse mythology and discourse on the nature of poetry are intertwined. The origin of a number of kennings is given; then Bragi delivers a systematic list of kennings for various people, places and things. He then goes on to discuss poetic language in some detail, in particular heiti, the concept of poetical words which are non-periphrastic (like steed for horse), and again systematises these. This in a way forms an early form of poetic thesaurus.


  1. ^ Orchard 1997, p. 149.


  • Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell. ISBN 978-0-304-34520-5.

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