Tuesday, June 25, 2013

For Helgi

Here it is. I found it in a lecture on Icelandic folk songs. The lecturer said it was from a group of folk songs recorded in the 1920s and 30s. I have a translation, which I have not included because it might be copyrighted. I got the sense from my very poor Icelandic and my Icelandic-English dictionary that the translation could be better, and I thought I might enjoy translating it, which I think I can do, working between the Icelandic text and the translation I have.

I did this years ago with mid-20th century Icelandic poetry. I missed a lot of idioms, of course, which my father caught when he double-checked my work. But it was fun, and the end result -- after checking -- was not bad.

The black sand on green fields makes me think it's about an eruption, at least in part. Grimsvotn went off in the same period as Laki, which might give the line about glaciers crying out. Anyway, I have a neat story idea about trolls and humans meeting, when they both flee the Laki fires.

I don't know if I mentioned it on my blog, but a friend of mine wants to experiment with becoming a small press publisher, and his first project is going to be a collection of my fantasy stories based on Icelandic sagas and folktales and the Eddas.

One thing I can't find in either of my two dictionaries is Voluskrin. What does it mean?


Blogger Helgi Briem said...

Völuskrín literally means "pebble box".

Vala=pebble, skrín=small box

Children used to use pebbles as toys, representing sheep or something and keep them in a box. So it's similar to "toybox".

Note that the word before is "leggi" which means bones. They were used to represent cows. Sheep jawbones were horses.

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