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.
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.
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