David Stifter wrote:
>> Of course, one benefit we have here is that we know that the poem is
>> telling the story found in the prose version of 'Cath Crinna'. In that
>> prose-narrative there isn't any mention of Cormac having been involved
>> in a 'bad journey', and it is Tadg who undergoes healing (and is
>> 'far-removed' in the Co. Sligo) and Cormac is neither healed nor
>> ruined. (And the next stanza launches straight into the way Cormac
>> interfered with Tadg's wounds.)
> Could there be an error in the transmission of the poem?
That is always a possibility. But I think the starting point ought to be
to expect the poem to make sense, and to make much the same sense as the
narrative version in which it is included. In that case, we would expect
'his wounding in his healing' to refer to Cormac's interference with
Tadg's healing. This seems to be elevated to a matter of certainty by
stanza 13, which (as we have seen) details the ways in which Cormac
udnermined Tadg's healing.
We would not expect Cormac to have required any healing, since he spent
the battle safe under cover in a ditch.