Give yourself 15mins, today! 輕輕鬆鬆每天15分鐘練英文
Iceland, it seems, is full of hidden poets.
When they’re not at their day jobs, many of the island’s 330,000 inhabitants express themselves through verse, including politicians, businessmen, horse breeders and scientists who study the genetic isolation of the island in pursuit of medical breakthroughs.
Kari Stefansson, one of the world’s leading geneticists and the founder of Decode Genetics, recalled a poem he wrote in 1996, a few months after the birth of Dolly, the cloned sheep.
“I was a little bit depressed,” Mr. Stefansson said in his office, which, with its slit windows and computer screens, looked a bit like the interior of a spaceship. “One of my ways to deal with that was to write a small poem,” he said, before proceeding to recite it:
Where do I find, lost in the brightness of a sunlit day,
The happiness of an unhappy man
Fortunate only to be just one copy of himself.
Everything else stinks.
Poetry is a national pastime, but not a particularly “specialist activity,” said Sveinn Yngvi Egilsson, a professor of Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland. “It’s part of being an Icelander,” he said. “Yes, it’s charming, isn’t it?”
In earlier times, verses were an integral part of social gatherings and were often improvised, he said. Poetry contests were held, with the prizes going to the wittiest, sharpest verses. The most popular verse form, he said, is called ferskeytla, four rhymed lines that can be divided into two parts.
The cold oceanic climate and long winter nights may also have something to do with it. “People usually get bored, and they try to humor each other,” Professor Egilsson said. “One of those ways is poetry.”
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/print/2017/01/02/2003662328