Articles tagged "Icelandic Literature"


Jerking Out of Rotation: Four Icelandic Poets

Given that its language is spoken by fewer than 350,000 people across the world, Iceland manages to publish an astonishing volume of poetry, reflecting the country’s nearly 100 percent literacy...

Fragments from the Guidebook of the Dead

Fragments from the Guidebook of the Dead                         First daytrip/...

Mountain Hike

The tallest mountain on Mars is 24 kilometers high and I have climbed it in my dreams. I remember the view from the peak: magnificent; the blue planet swam in the half-twilight of evening. I seem to...

Another Letter to Mister Brown

Did you never get my letter, Mister Brown? it was aurora pink and glittery and I poured perfume from the tester all over it Mister Brown, “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy...

Austurvöllur on the Day of the Wake

Friday. A summer day. The sun shines. Everyone takes off socks and sweaters and jeans. Beautiful girls spread out blankets on the grass. Beautiful girls have a good day, a summer day. When evening...

Black Sea

In memory of Jónas Þorbjarnarson (1960-2012)   1. The dark kaiser’s ship, deep-keeled, cuts the water from head to head, breaks and sinks....

Evolution

EVOLUTION (1) Flight of the dwarf wasp, wingspan one millimeter beating 350 times per second finally captured in a photograph. After one million millenia of steadily evolving technology....

Bus Sequence

Bus I Wednesday arrives and my only thought is that I’m looking forward to taking the bus at noon. I didn’t know there would be days like this—days when the only thing I look...

House No. 451

It’s old and dilapidated, with dirty, tattered curtains covering the windows, the roof on the verge of collapse and the antenna dangling from the gable on its wire. There are cracks in all...

Inferno

We had just moved into an apartment in the suburbs, with all the hassle of fetching and carrying and doing the sorts of things that you really wouldn’t bother with if you didn’t feel...

The Sound Words Have

Once there was a town where no two people spoke the same language. No one used the same words for anything. And yet everyone understood everyone else and they all lived together in peace and...

solstice

when your eyes pause on the ball that hangs on the third branch from a star you remember why it got dark and why it is getting light again the earth (like the heart) leans back in its seat...

the stone collector’s song

i remember the thirst and the darkness i remember one-way streets i remember closed alleys and you you pointed to a cellar door there used to be a pub there which we visited a lot here...

2093

He lies and dreams. A great ash tree spreads out its crown and girls come with buckets and water its roots. He tosses and turns, then looks up. Beside him sits a gray-haired woman, stroking his...

Patriotic Poem

The cold makes me a lair from fear places a pillow of downy drift under my head a blanket of snow to swaddle me in I’d lay my ear to the cracking of the ice in the hope of hearing...

The Chamber Music

Allegretto villereccio This Wednesday in the last week of November is the first winter evening of the season. Until now it hasn’t gotten that cold; instead, it’s rained every which...

January 19th

Hildur is seven. She says when people die they lie motionless in a coffin –she shows me how–forever in heaven. She says she’s preparing herself. She says she will...

Three Women Poets

Three women poets in white bras sit at a small round table. Book in hand. A man in a pirate sweater comes in through the door out of the snowstorm and sits down at the women’s...

four creaking wheels

Two middle-aged women, who do the paper-route, drag the cart beside them along the ice-covered sidewalk, silent beneath the hoods of their anoraks. They remind me of passengers hauling their...

Dessert

As I sit at the dinner table I watch the three men who have sucked at my breasts. One of them still sucks them, two sucked them for a time. I look at the sun pouring through the window and look...

The Slayer of Souls

The following tale could well have been told on the one-thousand-and-second night: In the first decade of the nineteenth century there lived in Reykjavík a merchant who sold new and...

Café Borges

In Café Borges on Bankastræti everyone has brown eyes. Here they once sold pantyhose– says Simone–that forked like paths in two, even three. Yes–says...

In The Grandmothers’ Archipelago: An Interview with Sjón

Sjón was born in Reykjavik in 1962. Poet, novelist and playwright, he has received numerous literary awards, including the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for The Blue Fox. He was...

European Literature Days: An Excerpt from Sjón’s “The Blue Fox”

As a supplement to our coverage of the European Literature Days Festival from Lucy Popescu (you can find her blog post here), we're delighted to feature this short excerpt from Icelandic...

The Story of One Occasion

On one of many occasions Greta Garbo visited her fellow actress Marilyn Monroe in her home town, the City of Angels. Greta, who lived in New York, flew to the West Coast, took a taxi at the...