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The Song Weigher

The Song Weigher

by Egill Skallagrímsson

Bilingual English / Old Norse edition

Translated and introduced by Ian Crockatt
with a Preface by Professor Roberta Frank

Part of our Arc Classics: New Translations of Great Poets of the Past series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

EGILL SKALLAGRÍMSSON was the archetypal Viking,
a warrior of huge stature and fearsome cruelty who not
only survived countless confl icts to live into his eighties,
but composed technically brilliant poems about his
experiences. He is the master of early Scandinavia’s
skalds, court poets who between the ninth and thirteenth
centuries developed orally composed poetic forms which
combine complex arrangements of syllables and sound
values with kennings, imaginative flights which pair
unlikely word-pictures to make daring new metaphor-like

Ian Crockatt has previously published award-winning
translations from the Old Norse poetry of twelfth century
Earl of Orkney Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson. Once again
in this collection, his vivid translations re-imagine
the kennings and skilfully reconstruct the Old Norse
forms to make exciting new English-language poetry.
Reading these poems is like coming face to face with
Egill Skallagrímsson – an energizing, and sometimes
unsettling, experience.

The poet as builder, as crafter of a monument that
will stand high in the field of poetry: Ian Crockatt has
accomplished this task with his original, imaginative,
and inventive translations.

ROBERTA FRANK, Marie Borroff Professor of English, Yale University

ISBN pbk 978-1910345-91-7
ISBN hbk 978-1910345-92-4
152 pages
Published August 2017

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