Thursday, June 27, 2013

Helgi Again

Thanks for the comment. I may not translate the poem by myself. I clearly do not understand the cultural context. Your explanation of the line makes the poem sound more disturbing than ever. Having bones and pebbles for toys! I realize why. That's what was easily available. But still...

I will use those toys in my story, if I finish it. One problem with me writing about Iceland is -- I don't know enough, in spite of a lot of reading and a couple of visits. It simply is not enough.

As far as the poem goes, I can take the English translation I have and clean it up, make it into smoother and more powerful English. That I can do. My Icelandic is awful, but my English is pretty good.

There are troll children in the story. They can be playing with human bones...

14 Comments:

Blogger Helgi Briem said...

Hi Eleanor.

I definitely think you should go ahead with the translation.

The cultural context is even more disturbing than you perhaps know.

The play Jóhann Sigurjónsson wrote was called "Fjalla-Eyvindur" or "Eyvind of the Mountains". This was supposedly based on a real person and events. It is a staple of both professional and amateur theatres here in Iceland.

It deals with Eyvind, a poor man who gets caught stealing sheep and flees to the mountains. He meets a widow, Halla, and they fall in love and flee together.

Eventually they are discovered and things go from bad to worse. Apparently she sings the lullaby before throwing her baby in a waterfall when being pursued.

To read more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fjalla-Eyvindur

http://www.why.is/svar.php?id=5636

A more complete account in Icelandic:
http://www.snerpa.is/net/thjod/eyvind.htm

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