POETRY

New Year's Morning

By

The only ones to have
survived the night
are a Japanese family
who have switched off
the neon signs in their heads
and made do with the light
over the mountains

When the boy breaks the ice-film
on the lake with his toe
a low crack sounds
like the snap of a wing

He catches up with his parents
on the bridge where they
quicken their pace
They mean to be safe
indoors before
darkness reimposes
its curfew

Gerður Kristný was born on June 10, 1970 and brought up in Reykjavík. She graduated in French and comparative literature from the University of Iceland in 1992. She is a full time writer.

Kristný won the Icelandic Literature Awards 2010 for her book of poetry Blóðhófnir which is based on an ancient Nordic myth, told in the Eddic poem Skírnimál, about the attempt of the Nordic fertility god Freyr to fetch the poet's namesake Gerdur Gymisdóttir from her far away home as his bride. Blóðhófnir / Bloodhoof was published by Arc in 2012 in the translation of Rory McTurk. Kristný has published collections of poetry and short stories, novels, books for children and a biography, for which she recieved The Icelandic Journalism Award in 2005. Her play, The Dancing at Bessastadir, based on two of her children's books, premiered in the Icelandic National Theater in Reykjavík in February 2011 and was acclaimed by the public and critics alike.

The only ones to have
survived the night
are a Japanese family
who have switched off
the neon signs in their heads
and made do with the light
over the mountains