Biography of Jonas Hallgrimsson
Jónas Hallgrímsson (November 16, 1807 – May 26, 1845) was an Icelandic poet, author and naturalist. He was one of the founders of the Icelandic journal Fjölnir, which was first published in Copenhagen in 1835. The magazine was used by Jónas and other nationalistic poets to invoke patriotic feeling in the hearts of the Icelandic people, in the hopes of inciting popular resistance against Danish rule. Jónas remains one of Iceland's most beloved poets, and composed some of the best-known Icelandic poems about land and nation.
Jónas is considered one of the founding fathers, and best examples, of romanticism in Iceland. The imagery in his poetry was strongly influenced by the Icelandic landscape. He is also known for introducing foreign metres, such as pentameter, to Icelandic poetry.
Charming and fair is the land,
and snow-white the peaks of the jokuls [glaciers],
Cloudless and blue is the sky,
the ocean is shimmering bright,
But high on the lave fields, where
still Osar river is flowing
Down into Almanna gorge,
Althing no longer is held,
Now Snorri's booth serves as a sheepfold,
the ling upon Logberg the sacred
Is blue with berries every year,
for children, s and ravens, delight.
Oh, ye juvenile host
and full-grown manhood of Iceland!
Thus is our forefathers' fame
forgotten and dormant withal."
Jonas Hallgrimsson Poems
The Vastness Of The Universe
am the speeding spark of light flung by God from the forge of Chaos.
The star of love over Steeple Rock is cloaked in clouds of night. It laughed, once, from heaven
Iceland, fortunate isle! Our beautiful, bountiful mother! Where are your fortune and fame, freedom and virtue of old?
A Toast To Iceland
Our land of lakes forever fair below blue mountain summits, of swans, of salmon leaping where
I just don't enjoy Moon Island, jolly though it can be when boisterous breakers wallop the beach right next to me.
Mount Broadshield (A Travel Poem From Su...
Queen of all our country's mountains, crowned with snow sublime and pure! Once you poured from fiery fountains floods of lava down the moor.
Spring And Fall
Brimming springtime brings from sleep brooks with jaunty prattle, shaping life anew in sheep -- shepherds too! -- and cattle.
The glad sun gleamed in the shallows as we galloped along the sand under Ólafsvík Headland, out near the jaws of the land.
Eagle Mountain Glacier
Out under Eagle Mountain, where ice lies broad and bright -- don't imagine I dreamed this! -- some Danes made camp last night
The sun climbs from cool streams of eastern seas to oust the night.
They left their sad young sister and sailed for many a mile: brothers going birding and bound for Kolbeinn's Isle.
Over scarp, over fen, over gully and glen I have gone on the feet of the breeze, ever meaning to find
Shadow Baldur, by my tent, bursts with reeking juices. Thor throws in his increment, opening heaven's sluices.
Light is the source of all things, luminous Nothingness, the fountain of life limpid and undefiled.
A Ship Comes In, 1830
Can the bard descry a schooner
scudding landward, sails expanded?
Hear what's said beside the cod-stacks?
See the merchants strut like peacocks?
'Shorebound breezes shove the weary
ship along! The boys are thronging!
Packs of people crowd the sidewalks!
Perky shop-clerks stop and goggle!'