Poet: Steinn Steinarr

Utan Hringsins (Outside the Circle) by Steinn Steinarr

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Steinn Steinarr (1908-1958) is Iceland’s most famous modern poet, and “Utan Hringsins” is one of his best-known poems. It was recently put to music by the Icelandic singer Friðrik Ómar, who used it as the title song of his fifth album, Outside The Ring, and sang an English translation by Jón Óttar Ragnarsson. I found another translation online in a Yahoo group devoted to the study of Icelandic and Old Norse:

Utan Hringsins
by Steinn Steinarr

Ég geng í hring
í kringum allt sem er.
Og innan þessa hrings
er veröld þín.

Minn skuggi féll um stund
á gluggans gler.

Ég geng í hring
í kringum allt, sem er.
Og utan þessa hrings
er veröld mín.

Outside the Circle
translated by Alan Thompson

I walk in a circle
around everything which is.
And within this circle
is your world.

My shadow fell for a moment
on the window’s glass.

I walk in a circle
around everything which is.
And outside this circle
is my world.

The video and sound are by Máni M. Sigfússon. Arnljótur Sigurðsson collaborated on the music.