The other day I was poking through a magazine while visiting my grandfather-in-law at the old age home. “ICELANDIC HAIR SCUPTRESS” caught my eye, followed by a charming story of one woman's Victorian vision of a flower whose petals were formed of human hair. Since then she has striven to create an oeuvre of artifacts so wonderfully pretentious it has inspired me to investigate the inert relationship between Icelandic and Canadian poets.
I recall meeting Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl at a Scream Festival event in Toronto, at which he performed sound poetry with none other than Paul Dutton. A fine performance it was, too. Afterward, I introduced myself, and Eiríkur handed me a CD with some of his work on it. My goodness, I thought upon listening to it, this is interesting. I then tracked down and listened to audio files of people speaking Icelandic and realized that theirs is a language that is, to English ears, inherently sound-poetic. But perhaps this is how English sounds to those unaccustomed to it.