Icelandic Poet Einar Mar Jonsson

Recently returned from a ten-day stay in Iceland, a strange but amazing country. The land, a powerful, sentient presence,  is primordially wild. Like looking into the eyes of a tiger. Undeniably beautiful, remote, haunting, often other-worldly and sometimes frightening. The 10th century Icelandic constitution had as one of its first tenets a law that forbade any ship with a dragon on its prow from approaching the island for fear of frightening the spirits of the land. The Icelandic poet Einar Mar Jonsson, who contributed to Iceland , a gorgeous book of Icelandic photography by Patrick Desgraupes, has described his land in this way:

“Look, there is nothing, nothing. You were never here.”

“Behind us looms the eternal void, and above us the lost stars of the heavens.”

“Over there the giants are singing a song so that the mountains can hear it.”

“Running water, blue day, voiceless night.”

“And there where the glacier touches the sky, the land ceases to be earthly.” — Haldor Laxness

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