|-- click book cover to read OF THE SAME MIND online --|
OF THE SAME MIND
poems by Jóhann Hjálmarsson
translated from the Icelandic by C.M.Burawa
41 pp. paper. staple-bound.
cover photograph by Jóra Jóhannsdottir
Toad Press 2005, $5.00
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JÓHANN HJÁLMARSSON is one of Iceland’s premier poets. He has published 18 books of poetry and seven collections of international poetry in translation. In 1961, after his first book, Hjalmarsson moved to Spain to study romance languages at the University of Barcelona, where he began translating the French post-symbolists, French and Latin American surrealists, modernist and post-modernist American poets into Icelandic. He returned to Iceland and began a career as an arts reviewer and travel writer for the country’s largest circulating newspaper, Morgunblaðið. He was presented with an Icelandic Parliament Award in 2003 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Icelandic literature as a poet and translator.
Read more about Jóhann Hjálmarsson and see some translations by C.M. Burawa on the Project for Innovative Poetry blog.
Read an interview with C.M. Burawa at The Writer's Center.
Lyle Daggett writes that these are "Remarkable poems, quiet and meditative, by a poet of contemporary Iceland, filled with ocean waves and rock, gray sky and birds' wings, blackberries and silence, mingled with sudden scenes of the modern busy world." Read more on his blog.
OF THE SAME MIND
I once saw birds of like mind arrive.
as they flew in from the south
bound for the north
to their summer on the glacier.
Those that made it were met by storm,
yet still sang to each other
as they recovered by the bare trees.
The trees began shooting the youngest birds
who had intended to flee with them—
noticed that July was over.
A young girl with red lips
laughed at me
from below the surface of a blue spring.
I drank from her shadow.