Thursday, December 5, 2013

Iceland -- poetry, stones

British translator and editor David McDuff blogs at "Nordic Voices in Print" -- a site that he uses as "a way of making some of my translations of Nordic poetry and prose available online."  Here is "stones" -- the third of a group of ten poems he has posted by Icelandic poet Sjón.  This one involves a few numbers and I present it here as a math-poetry token of the fascinating land I am planning to visit: a five-day Iceland vacation adventure, traveling with my Eastern Village neighbors Priscilla and Glenn. 

stones     by Sjón (translated by David McDuff)

i’ve been hit on the head by a stone – my ex-wife has been hit on the head
by a stone in my presence – my old school friend has been hit on the head
by a stone – at noon today i saw a colleague hit on the head
by a stone – i saw a cat avoid a stone that was aimed straight at
its head – i saw a stone come through the kitchen window and land on
the cook’s head – i saw a bull die within quarter of an hour of
being hit on the head by a stone – the vet who dissected the priest’s dog
believes that the cause of death was probably a stone on
the head – the eldest son of a peasant on the farm where i grew up was hit on
the head by a stone and died – i encountered four stones in the main street yester-
day and three the day before – i am corresponding with members of the mineralogical
society in london – when they read my reports of
icelandic stones they doubt that they would survive one day in
reykjavík – i replied that I’m still hanging on so educated
men like them ought to be safe here too

today business is booming at the east side printing house
and the same thing is true of the entire planet

For ten poems by Sjón (including the one above), follow this link to McDuff's blog, Nordic Voices in Print.

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