Life in a Reykjavik Suburb

Ragnar Ingi Adalsteinsson
Ragnar Ingi Adalsteinsson
Ragnar Ingi (1944) is the oldest of the Grafarvogur Writers, and was one of the first people to move into the neighbourhood. He has a Master's degree in education, specializing in teaching the Sagas. He teaches at the University of Education in Iceland. Among his publications are seven books of poetry. While other poets of his generation and those who are younger have almost entirely abandoned the tradition to write vers libre, Ragnar Ingi has followed the old tradition, writing alliterative and rhyming verse. More than anyone else, he has strived to transmit knowledge of traditional forms and metrics and has been a pioneer in teaching this ancient heritage in elementary schools. He has written a great many scholarly works and textbooks on aspects of the study of Icelandic in elementary schools.
Read two poems here by Ragnar Ingi Adalsteinsson.

Autumn in Iceland
Translated from the Icelandic by Sigurlina Davidsdottir and Hallberg Hallmundsson.
The time is past of the passerine song
of praise; the nights are growing long.

For Mother Earth on her milky way
moves on spinningly day by day.

She folds us under her friendly wing
and feeds antipodean hopes of spring.

By the Brook
Translated from the Icelandic by Sigurlina Davidsdottir.

Running sheep -
shouting herdsmen
in the hills above.

A panting dog
a horse dragging the reins
halt on the bank

and a boy lies down
in the downsoft moss
and puts his mouth
to the pure stream.

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