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Seven poems of Einar Már Guðmundsson.

07 August 2018
Author :  

 Einar Már Guðmundsson (b.1954) is a gifted novelist, short story writer and a poet, as well as a dedicated activist with a social vision. He is one of the most widely translated Icelandic authors born in the post-war period. A storyteller with a lyrical perceptive and humorous style, his work charts the growth of urban culture in the capital and the larger-than-life characters that it spawns.

Guðmundsson has received numerous awards and recognition for his work, amongst them the Nordic Council Literary Prize in 1995, The Norwegian Bjørnson Prize and the Scharnberg Memorial Award in Denmark, The Karen Blixen Medal (an honorary award from the Danish Academy) and The Guiseppe Acerbi Literary Prize in Italy.

In 2012 Einar Mar Guðmundsson received the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize, dubbed “the little Nobel”, for his contribution to literature. The Swedish Academy Nordic Prize was created in 1986 to celebrate the Swedish Academy’s 200 year’s anniversary. It is awarded to individuals in one of the Nordic Countries that have made remarkable contributions to literature or Swedish language.


If I was a damaged TV


If I was a damaged TV

I would most certainly

cause more disturbance

in your lives

Translated by Michael Dean Óðinn Pollock



Middle-aged couple


They hang around in the living room

like a sandwich but there is nothing

between them except the contentment

that separates them

Translated by Bernard Scudder


Poem for Christmas


The innocent lambs of the Bible

become lambchops at Christmas

Translated by Michael Dean Óðinn Pollock


Poem for my sweetheart


After approximately 2000 years

when archaeologists dig up our bones

perhaps we could make love in the National Museum

Translated by Michael Dean Óðinn Pollock


I just can’t stop


I just can’t stop

at the corner of your lips

even though they are red

like traffic lights

Translated by Michael Dean Óðinn Pollock


The Russian Revolution


The Russian revolution

is like a family album that

we thumb through without knowing who

took the photos and it’s even

doubtful who they are of

only one thing’s certain:

Frankenstein came to power in the end

Translated by Bernard Scudder.


Science fiction


Don’t ask

if life exists

on other planets

until you’ve

made quite certain

that it exists on this one too

Translated by Anna Yates


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