Sjón – 3 poems

[the translations are my own]

A glass of water

I held
the glass and
looked into it.
The human eye
that lay on the bottom
looked at me
accusingly.

And I
who only asked for water.

(from Madonna [1979])

the hungry man’s astronomy

insatiable moons
follow him home
both by day and by night

they hover above the rooftops
sneaking a quick snack

winter-summer-spring-and-fall

their favourite food
pizza with iceland moss
and ice cream

they are what they eat

(from myrkar fígúrur [1998])

lithograph

marie curie and edvard munch lived in paris at around the same time

munch was interested in new discoveries and went to visit
the curies’ research laboratory on rue lhomond in the 5me arrondissement

marie was alone there and showed the painter how she and pierre
were wrestling with radium, and then gave him afternoon tea

in the lithograph munch sent her as a thank you present
the woman scientist sits among the equipment with her hand under her cheek

the angle of vision is oblique and in the bottom right hand corner you can see
the back of pierre’s neck as he sits at his desk writing in a book

marie curie looks into the light and has the same hairstyle as
edvard munch’s sister in the painting “death in the sickroom”

the picture has been lost – to dream it foretells the dreamer’s death

(from söngur steinsafnarans [2007])

See also in this blog: Sjón – 2 poems

an icelandic economist in soho

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