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Review: Drápa, by Gerður Kristný

Keith Richmond, ASLEF, November 2018

Drápa by the Icelandic journalist, poet and novelist Gerður Kristný (Arc Publications, £9.99) is an extraordinary and powerful poem sequence, taking its structure from the Old Norse shield poetry of the Vikings, its subject matter from contemporary Nordic crime, and its mood from modern Scandi noir. Beautifully translated by Rory McTurk, Emeritus Professor of Icelandic Studies at Leeds University, it's a compelling meditation on the misogyny of murderous men, written after Kristný spoke to the boxer Bragi Ólafsson in the room where he strangled his wife Gréta Birgisdóttir in 1988.