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Review: The Song Weigher, by Egill SkallagrĂ­msson

Mandy Haggith, Northwords Now, Issue 35, Spring 2018

Ian Crockett has translated the complete poems of tenth century Viking and skald, Egill Skallagrimsson, and, most impressively, yielded them up in The Song Weigher with a transfixing display of sound patterning and word play. If this is how the poems sounded a millennium ago, no wonder they haven't been forgotten.

Reading this rhythmical (and thoroughly blood-thirsty!) poetry, your ears are guaranteed to 'tune to skaldspeak'. The poems of Egill cover a huge range of topics - from battle-boasts to praise-poems, from love-lines to satire - and use many different forms... You can hear the sea rocking the poet's boat throughout this book. It certainly floated mine.