Friday, 9 September 2011


Björk is back! I heard the Icelandic songstress this morning on Radio 4, of all things, plugging her new album. The thing that struck me most about the interview was when she said that 'the Icelandic people LOVE volcanoes, that's the most beautiful thing they can think of'. This coincided with my coming across another form of montanic effusion today, a 'poetry-spouting mountain' (thanks to MCR for putting me on the right track!). It occurs in ch. 6 of Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka - the plot is far too complicated to explain here, suffice to say that a Norwegian king sailing in the Jutland Sea suddenly sees a mountain rise up in the north and speak a verse prophesying various deaths arising out of the death of a Danish king's daughter he has just married. Is this the only mountain in world literature that speaks poetry? If so, it's no wonder the Icelanders loved it so much, just like their volcanoes....(the saga goes on to tell us that the Reyknesingar, of south-west Iceland, are descended from that Norwegian king, and there are further connections later on in the saga). Or is it just a load of hot air?

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