Without speaking Icelandic, Moorea Gray clearly demonstrated the art of the poet, Stephan G. Stephansson. She compared an Icelandic stanza with its English translation. Alliteration, formalized rhyme schemes, invented words, double and triple entendre are just a few of the challenges a translator might encounter. Hence, many of this unique, esoteric poet’s works remain in Iceland, without translations. However, the majority of his poetry was published after he settled his family in Markerville, Alberta, where he had moved in 1889. His poems often reflect our Alberta landscape and a pioneer’s experience.
Thanks to a project introduced by Stephansson’s grandson, Stephan V. Benediktson, Moorea started researching this Icelandic-Canadian poet. Her research has been extensive, and her deep appreciation for the poetry of Stephan G. Stephansson was shared with all in attendance on October 17.
Link here for Moorea’s Summary which includes a Stephansson poem that contemplates our Alberta landscape. Not to worry: It’s an English translation!
If you can’t make it to Iceland to see this magnificent tribute, Markerville is nearby.