Full text: Iceland 1930

occasional poetry. His poems were not published in book form till 
after his death. Thorarensen seldom employs intricate metres, but his 
best poems are replete with inspiration, profound wisdom. and weird 
power akin to that of Eddic lays. 
Sveinbjérn Egilsson, D.D. (1791—1852) head-master of the Grammar 
School in Reykjavik, a renowned classical scholar, wrote some very 
good poetry, though not of the highest order. But his brilliant prose 
translations of Homer are of an unsurpassable beauty of style. 
Hjslmar Jénsson (Bélu-Hjilmar) (1796—1875) is a remarkable ex- 
ample of a great poetical talent, which even the worst fate cannot quell. 
Born and bred in utter poverty and living for many years as a 
farmer unpopular and misunderstood by his neighbours, he yet ma- 
naged to acquire considerable culture; and his poetical genius, his com- 
mand of language, and his stern and steely temper are such, that his 
poems, which to a great extent consist of satirical verses and com- 
plaints of his hard fate, are among the most powerful poetical com- 
positions in our language. 
Sigurdur Breidfiord (1798—1846), was another peasant bard whose 
life was no bed of roses. He learned fo be cooper in Copenhagen 
and followed that trade in Greenland for some time, but never settled 
down permanently anywhere. Breidfjord was our greatest writer of 
vimur, and, though sometimes a careless worker, many of his rimur 
are really good. He has also written a great number of poems and 
ditties remarkable for their sweetness and beauty, especially the pieces 
descriptive of his country’s nature, which are inspired by a pure, ten- 
der and almost child-like delight in natural scenery. 
Jénas Hallgrimsson (1807 —1845), naturalist, is perhaps the most 
popular and most influential of Icelandic poets of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. This is due to his deep appreciation of the grandeur and beauty 
of Icelandic scenery, his sincere patriotism. his tenderness of touch 
and unrivalled beauty of language. 
Grimur Thomsen (1820—1896) Ph.D., was for a number of years 
in the Danish foreign office and diplomacy, but during the last thirty 
years of his life he lived in Iceland, as a farmer at BessastaBir. In 
spite of his cosmopolitan culture he was an Icelander to the core, both 
in thought and expression, .and in his poetry he has given us power- 
ful and vivid pictures of persons and events. drawn from our sagas 
and tales. 
Benedikt Gréndal (1826—1907), son of Sveinbjérn Eagilsson, was 
a versatile writer, a man of brilliant parts, and a fertile but unre-

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