Poems Found in Ballot Boxes


Poems Found in Ballot Boxes


Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Icelanders upheld the quirky tradition of slipping poems into ballot boxes during Saturday’s parliamentary election, RÚV reports. Poetic voters have long been known to slip anonymous, politically-themed quatrains into the ballot boxes along with their votes. Poetry may be the most historically and culturally significant art form in Iceland.

Ingi Trygvasson, chairman of the election committee for the northwest constituency spoke with RÚV in Borgarnes, West Iceland, about the poems found there by ballot counters. He says the quatrains are of varying quality, though the following poem had caught his attention. A rough translation follows.

Stjórnmálaástandið ágætt nú telst,

þó allt virðist skjálfa á beinum

og þá til forustu alltaf sá velst,

sem ekki vill starfa með neinum.

English translation:

The state of politics seems to be fine,

though all seem afraid and distressed

and leadership always falls to the one,

who wants not to work with the rest.



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