Háskólavísur 01: Infamous Foodstuffs

Today starts a new experiment on this blog that will hopefully involve more frequent updates, though they will generally be shorter and still somewhat random. For now, I’m calling it Háskólavísur, which translates to “university verses.” These will be short verses on various aspects of my life here in Iceland as an M.A. student. The name is inspired by the term “lausavísur” (loose verses) used to describe the short bits of poetry that occur in Icelandic sagas, often as a poet’s response to some situation or other as part of the narrative. The meters I use for these verses may vary, with fornyrðislag, ljóðaháttr, and anglo-saxon being most likely. Later such posts probably won’t include much, if any, in the way of introduction, though the title will always include “Háskólavísur” with a steadily-increasing index number. Today’s verse is about some of the infamous Icelandic specialty foods.

I ate today some infamous foods:
an Icelandic lunch of little delicacies.
I hail Heimdall for the hapless ram
whose soured bollocks smeared my crackers.
The fat of the whale is flavorless also,
pickled in acid ere ’twas placed on bread,
but the pungent shark powerfully lingers:
the smallest bit still smells the kitchen.

Copyright © 2014 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.

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