Paul Park’s Ragnarok at

Paul Park’s Ragnarok at

rag2“There was a man, Magnus’s son,
Ragni his name. In Reykjavik
Stands his office, six stories,
Far from the harbor in the fat past.
Birds nest there, now abandoned.
The sea washes along Vesturgata,
As they called it.

In those days
Ragni’s son, a rich man,
Also a scholar, skilled in law,
Thomas his name, took his wife
From famished Boston, far away.
Brave were her people, black-skinned,
Strong with spear, with shield courageous,
Long ago.”

I was flicking through my Flist, and what should I see but Francesca Forrest talking about solar superstorms and poetry and Ragnarok? If you know Francesca even a little, this would not surprise you.

And yet I was astonished.

Following her link to, I beheld this magnificent poem by writer Paul Park. It went live in April. Why it has taken me this long to pay attention to it, I’ll never know; it’s a mystery, as Geoffrey Rush says in Shakespeare in Love.

I wish I’d written it. Never could’ve, but there you have it.  I’m snake-hearted and sick with envy. My eyeballs are melting a little. I may still be trembling. What a rush!

Lovers of Nordic sagas, flock over to Strew your comments like jeweled offerings.

And then, go on and read Francesca’s great review of it at Versification, a new site for speculative poetry reviews. Francesca has provided a map, so that you can track the hero’s movements. And links as well, to things like Hallgrimskirkja.

It’s very exciting. I wonder else Mr. Park has done…

We last covered with their interview of our Managing Editor, Howard Andrew Jones.

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LOL, snake-hearted and sick with envy 😀 You’re the best, Claire.

(And that line from Shakespeare in Love is one of my favorites)

It’s just such a great poem. I’ve been thinking about it for days. I’m so glad you’ve talked about it here because readers of Black Gate ought to *adore* it, and really, everyone should read it!

And yeah, it’s made me want to read more Paul Park too.


I do! I do! And I feel the same way re: fan letter.

But let’s assume maybe he has Google alerts set up–or at least checks manually occasionally to see how things are going.

In which case we can say, Mr. PARK! WE LOVED YOUR POEM!


Among other things, Paul Park wrote an amazing fantasy trilogy called “The Starbridge Chronicles”. Truly mindblowing stuff. From the ’80s!

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