Steinn Steinarr is one of Iceland’s most beloved poets, and a new museum has been dedicated in his memory near his birthplace in the Westfjords. Below is a bit of that article from RÚV and one of his poems.
Steinshús vígt á Nauteyri í dag
Steinshús dedicated in Nauteyri today
Steinshús, safn og sýning til minningar um Stein Steinarr skáld, var vígt á Nauteyri við Ísafjarðardjúp í dag. Búið er að gera upp samkomuhús sem brann þar árið 2002.
Steinhus, a museum and exhibition in memory of poet Steinn Steinarr, was dedicated in Nauteyri in Ísafjarðardjúpur today. The renovations have been completed to the assembly hall which burned in 2002.
The verb vígja is probably the most interesting word here, not one I’ve encountered a lot. It can be confusing because there are a lot of words that begin with víg- that have more to do with war and battle than with “blessing” or “consecrating”. Some examples:
víg n slaying, killing víga·hugur m fighting spirit víga·legur adj warlike víg·búnaður m armaments víg·girðing f fortification vígvöllur m battlefield
víg·orð n slogan (word of honor?) vígsla f opening ceremony, consecration
Steinn Steinarr fæddist á Laugalandi í Skjaldfannardal árið 1908 nálægt Nauteyri. Hjónin Þórarinn Magnússon og Sigríður Austmann, sem eiga sumarbústað í nágrenninu, ákváðu fyrir nokkrum árum að beita sér fyrir endurbyggingu gamla samkomuhússins.
Steinn Steinarr was born in Laugaland in Skjaldfannardalur in 1908, not far from Nauteyri. The couple Þórarinn Magnússon and Sigríður Austmann, who own a summer house in the area, decided several years ago to take on the task of rebuilding the old assembly hall.
The verb beita is most often seen with the dative to mean use, employ, i.e an implement of some sort. Here beita sér fyrir has the meaning of undertake, take upon oneself.
vígja v (acc) to dedicate, consecrate safn n museum sýning f exhibition minning f remembrance skáld n poet gera upp renovate (house) samkomu·hús n assembly hall sumar·bústaður m summer house ná·grenni n neighborhood, vicinity
‘Hendur‘ is a short, very beautiful poem which is quite accessible even to beginners in Icelandic:
Tvær hendur hvítar og tærðar
Og þú, sem grætur,
hvað grætir þig?
Veistu ekki, að dimman og dauðinn
er draumur um mig?
Tvær hendur hvítar og tærðar,
tvær hendur, sem elska þig.
Two hands, white and worn
And you, who weep
What brings you to tears?
Don’t you know the darkness and death
is a dream of me?
Two hands, white and worn
two hands that love you.
tæra v corrode, eat away gráta v weep, cry græta v bring to tears dimma f darkness dauði m death
There is a wonderful book of Steinn Steinarr’s poetry that was republished last year if you are interested in reading more – Steinn Steinarr – Ljóðasafn
And if you are in Iceland, you can visit Steinhús in the Westfjords 🙂