Viking Poetry of Love and War
written by Judith Jesch
British Museum Press | ISBN 9780714128306
Paperback – 112 pages
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The Vikings are not often thought of as poets, though they came from a culture that valued poetry highly and rewarded poets handsomely. There is evidence for the kinds of poetry favoured by the Vikings from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries, in oral tradition, in runes and in medieval manuscripts. This book features a selection of carefully-chosen poems to encompass the rich store of genres and styles of the Vikings, whose poetic language is colourful, intricate and steeped in mythological knowledge. The style of the poetry ranges from the highly formal to the scurrilous, and is often light-hearted, even in the face of death and tragedy. Beautifully illustrated with works of art from the British Museum collection, this book captures perfectly the essence of Viking Poetry and offers a fascinating glimpse into the ideology of the time.