Introduction to Icelandic
It started with a series of presents a wooden carving of an Icelandic horse, a fleece-lined sleeping bag, and a plain cloth book. I used the pony to model for an updated photograph of myself as a ballet dancer waiting for the annual recital to begin. I tested the sleeping bag in my car, in 16oF weather, in a strange rest stop. But the book was a problem. What to do with a book I can’t read? After accepting the help of Google Translate, I found out the title, Ritsafn, and author, Olof Sigurdardottir, of my book. I looked for a translation, none exists; there isn’t a lot of Icelandic literature translated into English, I learned. Her book, it looks is out of print in Icelandic alas. Interestingly, my book is a collection of poetry and fairy tales, the third and final published work of a woman farmer writer. That her husband was a carpenter formed the basis for my poem comparing the author to myself. My carpenter (the presenter) seemed satisfied. I was still curious. This is the story of how I decided to start a series of homophonic translations of my book. Homophonic translations are based on the sound rather than the meaning of the words in a text in a foreign language. This will certainly be a test for me as a writer and a terribly under-developed linguist. (I read Finnegan's Wake.) I can’t stand the idea that there is this writer, who I feel close to, who I can’t read. So I will be experimenting with creating English poems from her Icelandic poems. I am thinking of you, Olof fra Hlodum.