On the Point of Erupting: Selected Poems

Publisher: 
Place: 
Reykjavík
Year: 
2014

Selected poems from the books Er nokkur í kórónafötum hér inni?, Sendisveinninn er einmana, Róbinson Krúsó snýr aftur, Klettur í hafi, Í auga óreiðunnar and Ég stytti mér leið framhjá dauðanum.

Translated by Bernard Scudder, Anna Yates, Sola O‘Connell and Michael Dean Óðinn Pollock.

Introduction by Silja Aðalsteinsdóttir.

From the book:

Girl in a fish-workers‘ hostel

The young girl opens her suitcase
in her room in the fish-workers‘ hostel,
poses her doll dressed all in pink upon the shelf,
hangs her best dress on a hanger.
Mum and Dad smile from a frame on the wall.

She looks around the cafeteria:
Rough-hewn faces blow thick clouds of smoke
at each other,
the chairs are orange,
the tables light grey.
Women in white move through the clatter of crockery.

Outside are the mountains.

Aftert he first week the suitcase
is gazing sadly toward the door,
The face of the pink-clad doll is stained with tears.
Mum and Dad’s smile is anxious.

The best dress hasn’t been worn.
But soon the postman brings the pink plush sofa
and Friday is payday.

She looks out of the window:
The mountains are in the same place today
as they were yesterday.

Days pass, nights pass:
The wallpaper is tattered like an old newspaper,
the sofa vomit-stained, the doll naked.
Someone’s left a pair of sunglasses behind,
someone has forgotten one sock.
The glass that shields Mum and Dad is shattered
like a frost-flower over their smiles.

In the cafeteria:
Rough-hewn faces blow thick clouds of smoke
at each other.
The chairs are orange,
the tables light grey.
Time passes,
a woman in white through the clatter of crockery.

Mountains: on the point of erupting.

(79-80)