Hildur is seven.

She says
when people die
they lie
in a coffin
–she shows me
in heaven.

She says
she’s preparing herself.

She says she
will pick a
comfortable position.

© Sigurbjorg Þrastardottir. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by T. Zachary Cotler. All rights reserved.

Hildur er sjö ára.

Hún segir að
þegar fólk deyi
liggi það
hreyfingarlaust í
kistu, svona
– svo sýnir hún mér
hvernig – að eilífu
á himnum.

Hún segist
vera að undirbúa sig.

Hún segist ætla
að velja sér
þægilega stellingu.

Sigurbjorg ÞrastardottirSigurbjorg Þrastardottir

Sigurbjorg Þrastardottir is a poet, playwright, and novelist in Reykjavik. Her debut collection of poetry, Blálogaland (Land of Blue Flames) was published in spring 1999, followed the year after by Hnattflug (Circumnavigation), which was voted best poetry book of the season by staff-members of Icelandic bookstores, and then in 2007 by Blysfarir (Torch Marches), which was nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize. Her first novel, Sólar saga (The Story of Sun), received the Tomas Gudmundsson Literary Prize 2002. The prize is granted every other year by the Mayor of Reykjavik. Þrastardottir’s poetry has been translated into several languages and published in Germany, Sweden, and Italy. A bilingual collection of her poems in Icelandic and English (translated by Bernard Scudder), To bleed straight, was published by Forlagið in 2008. Her newest book of poems, Brúður (Bride/Dolls), was published in 2010.

Translated from IcelandicIcelandic by T. Zachary CotlerT. Zachary Cotler

T. Zachary Cotler is the author of House with a Dark Sky Roof (Salt, 2011). His poems have appeared in Poetry, the Paris Review, Republic of Letters, the Wolf, and other magazines in the US and UK. In 2006, he was awarded the Amy Clampitt Fellowship by the poet’s estate. In 2011, he received the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He is a founding editor of the Winter Anthology.