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Review: The Song Weigher, by Egill Skallagrímsson

Keith Richmond, ASLEF, September 2017

Egill Skallagrimsson was a 10th century Viking warrior-poet, born in Iceland, who fought for Aethelstan against Olaf Guthfrithson at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937, after which Aethelstan became the first King of England. Ian Crockatt, who lives on a croft in North Aberdeenshire, in what is clearly a labour of love has imaginatively translated Egill's Old Norse poems about eating, drinking, sailing ('the sea god / grapples me down'), loving ('when her hair's hill-torrent / harries thought with verses'), and killing ('Battle-cranes flew / where corpse-heaps grew') into modern English while retaining a flavour of the skáld.