Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Send Greetings

Yesterday, I posted a rather silly poem in honor of the Icelandic midwinter festival Þorrablót. Seriously, Iceland has a long history of literature and poetry, going back as far as the saga first told in the 9th and 10th century and written down by the 13th century. Icelander Halldór Kiljan Laxness won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955.

The following poem was written by Jonas Hallgrimsson in 1835.  Jonas was working for the cultural and economic revival of Iceland and its independence from Denmark. He is credited with introducing the Romanticism movement in Iceland.  Above, you can listen to the poem in Icelandic with English translations.
I Send Greetings
Serene and warm, now southern winds come streaming
To waken all the billows on the ocean,
Who crowd toward Iceland with an urgent motion ---
Isle of my birth! where sand and surf are gleaming.
Oh waves and winds! embrace with bold caresses
The bluffs of home with all their seabirds calling!
Lovingly, waves, salute the boats out trawling!
Lightly, oh winds, kiss glowing cheeks and tresses!
Herald of spring! oh faithful thrush, who flies
Fathomless heaven to reach our valleys, bearing
Cargoes of song to sing the hills above:
There, if you meet an angel with bright eyes
Under the neat, red-tasselled cap she's wearing,
Greet her devoutly! That's the girl I love.

For a detailed interpretation of this poem, refer to:

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