Life in a Reykjavik Suburb

Gyrdir Elíasson
Gyrðir elíasson3
Gyrdir Elíasson
Gyrdir Elíasson was born in 1961. His family comes from the East fjords but he grew up in the town of Sauðárkrókur in the Northern Iceland and now lives in Reykjavik. Elíasson has been a full time writer almost all his adult life, and has a number of poetry books, novels and collections of short stories to his credit. His style is highly personal, a unique combination of crisp, lyrical fantasy and imaginative realism. Elíasson is one of Iceland's most acclaimed writers of his generation and has received numerous awards for his work, including The Icelandic Literature Prize 2000. He is an avid translator, especially of books about and by American aborigines, and has translated three of Richard Brautigan's novels.

Read poems by Gyrdir Elíasson here.

Summer Reading
Translated by Bernard Scudder.
A book on the table, closed, by
blind Homer, that table
is on the veranda and beaming

Down from the jetty and boats
bring in fish, the chug of motors
echoes among the light mountains

On the vicarage lawn a horse is eating
grass but I have a cup of tea
still and look away from the horse

Open the book again and read
that visit down into dim
worlds of the dead and dark spheres

Feel the brightness, secure, and the sky
blue above my head and creeping up
on me the joy of being above ground.

Bruegel Variations
Translated by Bernard Scudder.
A pastoral green church on the hill
and ravens
and a harmonica-player mending
the roof of his house
yellow window-shutters

Headless hens strut
on frosted glass
with sandpaper the evening
rubs sharp precipices
my mind
empties its snapping thoughts

Children skating on the water-tiger pond
beneath a crescent moon
the lady accordionist dons
sunglasses by lamplight
and reads

Little birds sleep
dreamlessly in chimneys.

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