Kristín Eiríksdóttir and I sit with her new book of poetry, Kok (Icelandic for Throat). The book is penned in Icelandic, and Kristín has performed a preliminary Icelandic-to-English translation of the text to accompany the book’s launch. Kok partners Kristín’s visual art with her meditation on relationship. The long poem touts simple diction in repetition, occasionally confronting syntax shift, and an unexpected end-before-the-poem-ends that wrenches the reader’s heart through her gut via quick sucker punch. Kok is poignant, bare, driven. It captures exactly that moment when a body becomes struck with what’s stuck.
We sit with her English translation on screen and an Icelandic print-out in hand. The computer and print-out cycle between our hands, fluid reference points as we compare her translation with the original. Several times we confront Icelandic words too difficult to translate.