March 27th 2010 marked a day of celebration at Hannesarholt, as the launch of the book “Bard of Iceland,” was commemorated, the life’s work of the Icelandic romantic poet Jónas Hallgrímsson, in the masterful translation of Dick Ringler, professor emeritus in English literature and Scandinavian studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The Forlagid publishers in Iceland published the book in paperback, but it was first published by the University of Wisconsin Press in Madison in 2002. See further information on Jonas Hallgrimsson and Dick Ringler’s translations on the UW Wisconsin web:http://www.library.wisc.edu/etext/jonas/
This publication will ensure the availability of the book in years to come, as the first publication had all but run out. Further information on the book is available on the website of Forlagid: www.forlagid.is
Hannesarholt supported the reprint of “Bard of Iceland,” and invited Dick and Karin Ringler to Iceland to celebrate the launch of the book. At a gathering held at Hannesarholt commemorating this occation, a group of girls from the girls choir of Skólakór Kársness School performed three of the songs in the book, conducted by Thorunn Bjornsdottir and accompanied Vikingur Heidar Olafsson. Among the guests at this occation were Dick Ringler and his wife Karin, former president Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Silja Adalsteinsdottir of Forlagid publications, and Ragnheidur Jonsdottir from Hannearholt. More photos from the launch at Hannesarholt.
Jonas Hallgrimsson is among the most beloved Icelandic poets of the romantic era, one which Dick Ringler compares to William Wordsworth. Ringler sites the reason for his work being that he wanted to give the English speaking world an opportunity to get to know this remarkable poet. As a youth studying in Copenhagen, Denmark, Hannes Hafstein worked on collecting the works of Jonas Hallgrimsson and preparing it for publication. The preface he wrote to this publication remains the most extensive introduction of Jonas Hallgrimsson to his fellow contrymen, who have cherished his work to this day.