Monday, 29 August 2011
The Fault-line at Thingvellir*
Unlike the eminent poets, Armitage
and Maxwell we don’t hurl insults
across, being too grumpy for words.
Under cold grey clouds, we trudge
disinterestedly, won’t even budge
to admire the open-air rift of Iceland’s
ancient Parliament. Two blocked creatives
standing on the fault-line bearing our grudge.
This is where Europe meets America.
We chose the new world, don’t make me
cross back again. Sunlight is unfurling -
I reach for my notebook, you your camera.
Across the lake, the ice breaks and we agree
we are more thinged against than thinging.
*The great fault line at Þingvellir, where the geological plates of America and Europe are tearing slowly apart. The first AlÞing, or parliament, was held here in AD930. In Moon Country, Further Reports from Iceland (1994) Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell followed in the footsteps of Auden and MacNeice’s Letters from Iceland (1936).