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Crimsoning the Eagle's Claw: The Viking Poems of Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson, Earl of Orkney

by Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson

Bilingual English / Old Norse edition

Translated by Ian Crockatt

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

A genuinely unique European treasure, this volume bristles with the Viking verses of Rǫgnvaldr, Earl of Orkney, recorded in Orkneyinga Saga. Full of highly stylised, often grotesque images, Ian Crockatt's masterly translations convey the skill, vigour and daring of the original. Skaldic poetry is one of the most elaborate and original in European literature and this collection finally brings it to the deserved attention of the English-language reader. Rich narratives and old Norse mythology blend with familiar place-names and landscapes to create a peculiarly alluring, sometimes comic, world that never quite settles around the reader. Spirited and generous, these poems give us precious glimpses of a life lived to the full.

These are quite simply the best poetic translations of skaldic dróttkvætt verse into English. More than any other poet, Ian Crockatt has managed the trade-off between translating the intricate form and nuanced content of Rǫgnvaldr's poetry. In doing so he has produced beautiful contemporary poetry in this ancient and difficult form.

Tarrin Wills, Co-Director of the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, University of Aberdeen

9781908376 60 2 (pbk)
9781908376 61 9 (hbk)
9781908376 62 6 (ebk)
Published September 2014

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