Glacier Blue: Poems in Iceland
photos, films, & audio for the little book
Years ago, I read about an inventive literary walk in Iceland--here and there you would find a QR code (those annoying little squares customarily used to sell products), and if you scanned the image with your phone's camera, you could hear an Icelandic writer read a passage from a novel or poem. Then last week I was in Reykjavík, and I came across one of these codes just across the square from the Hallsgrimkirkja. It was affixed to a park bench...
When I scanned the code box, I could hear writer Gunnar Gunnarsson (1889-1975) read a passage from his novel The Black Cliffs. What a pleasure this was, to sit at rest in a public place, and hear a resonant voice from the past deliver literature to my mind.
This encounter led me to seek out several other locations with their codes for hearing additional Icelandic writers. The codes had gone missing at the first two locations I visited: at Reykjavík City Lake (for Svava Jakobsdóttir) and at Austrurvöllur Square (for Thórarinn Eldjárn). At the next location I tried, the Kaffislippur Cafe at the old harbor (for a medley of readings of Icelandic writers in English), the code was too scrubbed by the sea wind to register. So that's one out of four still working this fine idea.
With this experience behind me, I decided to put my own code inside my little book Glacier Blue, in order to lead you, gentle reader, to this site where I could add images, films, and audio to your experience of the book. What follows, then, is a series of companions to the words in the book:
1. Cloud shadows cross the hills (see "Clouds at Eyrarfjallsvegur" on page 8 of Glacier Blue).
2. Icelandic horses (see "Islenski Hestruinn" on page 2).
3. Holstastóly, Iceland's national flower, in its little heaven (see "Glacier Blue," p. 15).
4. The waterfall at Thingvellir (see "Democratic Waterfall," p. 11)
5. Audio recording of Auðun's Bear, read by Kim Stafford (see p. 23.)
Turf house door. Turf house wall.
Black sand at Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Kerið crater.
Little heaven in green at Eyrarfjallsvegur.
Glacial ice at Jökulsárlón.
Midsummer dusk in the Eastfjords.
Draft of "What my Country Could Learn," p. 19. Draft of "Glacier Blue," p. 15.