Inspiration for poetry

Hraundrangi in Drangafjall, seen from Öxnárdalur, Eyjafjörður, northern Iceland:


Click to enlarge

Jónas Hallgrímsson, one of Iceland’s greatest Romantic poets, wrote about this place:

Þar sem háir hólar
hálfan dalinn fylla,
þar sem hamrahilla
hlær við skini sólar
árla fyrir óttu
enn þá meðan nóttu
grundin góða ber
græn í faðmi sér. . .

Which translates (without rhymes):

Where the high hillocks
half-fill the valley
where the rocky ledge
grins against the sunlight
´twixt midnight and morn
while the good green earth
still carries the night
in its arms…

Here is a less literal but rhyming translation


You never know what you will come across on the walls of Reykjavík

I hesitate to call this graffiti, but whatever it is, I love it. It doesn’t hurt that the verse is by my favourite poet, Tómas Guðmundsson:

2013-04-08 16

Click to enlarge

My attempt at a translation:

By the edge of the dock the town has fallen into a trance,

and lowly hovels are turned into heavenly temples.

And overhead the northern lights perform an all-night dance

in naked glory across the roadless sky.

From Tunglskinsnætur by Tómas Guðmundsson (1901-1983)

Parking in India

In the parking lot,
between his shiny brethren,
the little ass waits.


The longest bridge in Iceland

When you’re stuck behind
a bicyclist on a bridge
Patience is the key.

P.S. It happened again on the next bridge, which is also long and also only one lane, but with no places for overtaking.


Wisdom of the ages


“Know if you have a friend,
whom you trust well
and wish for his goodwill,
then keep company with him,
exchange gifts with him,
visit him often.”

From “Hávamál” (included in Snorri’s Edda)