Posts

Showing posts from June, 2014

Icelandic Lyrics: The West Wind

When I first went away to college, I think it was, I took a book with me, from off my mother's bookshelf in the kitchen. It was a book called Icelandic Lyrics by Richard Beck, published 1930. The book has a selection of poems from poets that lived between 1830 and 1930, and features the Icelandic original with facing English translation. Beck was a professor of Scandinavian Languages and Literature at the University of North Dakota. I don't think they have a professor of Scandinavian there anymore, which is a shame. It is also a shame that I have carried this book around with me for 20 years, and never really read it. I think the first time I tried, I was so disappointed by how little I understood of the Icelandic originals, and how little I liked the English translations that I put it aside. This morning, I was in the mood for poetry, and gave the book another try. So well it has taken acquiring a PhD in Icelandic literature, but I think I can finally appreciate many of these…