Sthephan G. Stephansson Poetry

SKAGAFJÖRÐUR (excerpt)

The mighty frost once carved out here
the mountains' crests with its chisels of ice,
snatched up in its arms the stacked cliff-face,
broke down the fjord's tight door.
Basalt columns standing sure
it lined up in their place.

The busy sea had work enough:
with the fjord's blue arm it strayed
along the lofty mountainside,
smoothing the floor and hewing with surf.
Tugged rivers into estuaries, to fade
beyond the grey gravel's spread.

When the sea-god's dextrous hand
had finished with its deed:
"Of all fjords this is the fairest fjord,"
the sun spoke as it dawned.
"To shine here and to nurture the land
is my joy as I rise from the wood."

All that beauty quiet and good –
half of it is your dream and theirs.
Other things are also there:
the other half is flesh and blood,
wrapped in the sunbeams' glowing flood,
rural beauty, spring and more.

Written in 1899

Translated by Bernard Scudder.



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