Articles tagged "Iceland"


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 the outside…...

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 socially…...

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 harmony. Until…...

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 and like that…...

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 it is you said comfortingly…...

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 hand. The…...

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 it retreat if I…...

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 way, and…...

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 pick a very comfortable…...

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 table. He takes off…...

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 luggage, looking…...

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 at the…...

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 secondhand furniture…...

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 Tiziano–lovers…...

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 novelist Sjón's…...

Icelandic


Gulliver in Icelandic

On my first day, I was overcome with dread. It wasn't even four in the afternoon and the sun had set long ago. They turn on the streetlamps here by two, two-thirty, and in the brief spell of sunshine,…...