Near a wood, the goddess Sif
rests her head on a stump while the half-deity Loki
lurks behind, blade in hand. Loki intends to cut Sif's hair per a myth recounted inSkáldskaparmál
The second part of Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda the Skáldskaparmál (Old Norse pronunciation [ˈskaldskaparˌmaːl], Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈskaultskaparˌmauːl], "language of poetry"; c. 50,000 words) is effectively a dialogue betweenÆgir, the Norse god of the sea, and Bragi, the god of poetry, in which bothNorse 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 ofkennings 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.