The Cold Tap Sings

the p-word

Tag: Iceland

BÓNUS POETRY

FROM BAD TO NORSE

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From Bad to Norse

Icelandic is tough
I can’t seem to
wrap my tongue
around the eth
and the thorn
although I can
utter ‘Ég tala
ekki íslensku’
meaning ‘I don’t
speak Icelandic’

BÆJARINS BEZTU PYLSUR

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for Eva Vestmann

Last night we talked for a full five minutes
about that hot dog stand in Reykjavík
the [in]famous one down in 101
‘Metallica’s favourite’ you said I crave
five more for my face in Icelandic rain

THE HALLGRÍMSKIRKJA

photo: dvdhaven

photo: dvdhaven

The poems I wrote in Iceland are very much inspired by its architecture and topography. Here’s one in a form that mimics Reykjavík’s Hallgrímskirkja, whose shape itself is inspired by the Icelandic terrain.

***

The Hallgrímskirkja

t
the
e
spire
of the
tallest
church in
reykjavík, the
hallgrímskirkja,
is designed to echo
the basalt lava flows of the
icelandic landscape. it’s named
after hallgrímur pétursson, one of
iceland’s most celebrated devotional poets.
his passion hymns are often sung at lent accompanied by
an organ which comprises five-thousand two-hundred and seventy-five pipes.

***

Read more poems about Iceland here. Read ‘Three Poems in the Form of a Cairn’ here.

THREE POEMS IN THE FORM OF A CAIRN

photo: línus hrafnkell línusson

photo: línus hrafnkell línusson

Iceland’s landscape is populated by small towers of stones known as cairns. Visible from miles around, they serve as waymarkers for travellers. But they also serve as memorials for the dead, and it’s hard to explain why they’re so moving. Perhaps it’s their torso-like shape.

I decided to emulate this shape as a poetic form. It only works if the poem is short, I find, so I’ll treat you to a collection of three.

***

Three Poems in the Form of a Cairn

Scoria

red
frothy
textures

Slate

dark
shard
chiselled

Chalk

not
like
cheese

***

Read more on Iceland here, and read a poem which mimics the shape of waves breaking here.