Enginn grætur Íslending
Mér er þetta mátulegt,
Lifðu sæl við glaum og glys,
Sólin heim úr su[ð]ri snýr,
|Date:||21 December 1844.|
|Form:||Four four-line stanzas of alternating four-stress and three-stress lines rhyming aBaB and with the alliteration pattern 22 (ferskeytt óbreytt).|
|Manuscript:||KG 31 a II (an untitled and undated draft in pencil, no doubt written 21 December 1844) (facsimile KJH200; image) and ÍB 13 fol. (a fair copy with the title "Stökur" ["Quatrains"] and the date "21. December-m. 1844") (facsimile KJH223-4; image).|
|First published:||1847 (A221; image).|
|Sound recording:||Valgerður Benediktsdóttir reads "Stökur." [0:52]|
Commentary: This poem provides valuable insight into Jónas's mental condition during the last winter of his life. Hannes Hafstein wrote of this period: "More and more, his spirit began to turn in upon itself; ancient sorrows revived and depression deepened around him. The memory of forgotten love affairs from his school days woke again. . . . He felt totally isolated. . . . It seemed to him that life was unbearable — yet he hoped things would improve after the winter solstice" (BXXXVIII).
Both of Jónas's two early loves, Þóra Gunnarsdóttir and Christine Knudsen, have been proposed as the woman who is on his mind in this poem. It has even been suggested that they are both present, Þóra in stanzas 2 and 4, Christine in stanza 3. It is not possible to resolve this issue with finality. Since, however, Hannes refers specifically to "forgotten love affairs from his school days" (i.e., his days at Bessastaðir), and since homesickness for Iceland obviously plays a large role in the poem, Þóra seems a likelier candidate than Christine, whom he met after leaving Bessastaðir and who was living in Copenhagen during his last years (see ÁBT64).