songs:Icelandic poet Stephan Stephansson
Subject: songs:Icelandic poet Stephan Stephansson|
From: GUEST,Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 09 Dec 13 - 05:41 PM
One of my favourite folk albums from the early 80's has finally been put out on cd. Richard White, who played frequently at The Edmontont Folk Club and The Hovel in Edmonton took the poetry of Canadian/Icelandic poet Stephan G. Stephansson and set it to music.
Stephannson homesteaded in Alberta in the late 1800's-early 1900's, I believe. His poetry is, apparently, extraordinarily well-known in Iceland (if any Icelanders are reading this, pleas confirm).
Here is an excerpt from what Richard wrote in his 2013 re-release of this album:
"Stephansson's finely-crafted poetry, with its astute observations of the natural landscapes and human dramas all around him, is as vivid a portrait of the pioneer-immigrant spirit as one will ever find. His irrepressible optimism in the face of relentless physical challenges – his faith that sun shall prevail over darkness – moves me as much today as it did when I first encountered it some thirty years ago, and I believe it can and will touch many others for years to come. "Sun Over Darkness Prevail" contains settings of just eight poems, scarcely a speck of Stephansson's huge oeuvre, but it somehow seems to capture the spirit of his work and thus deserves to be kept alive".
Another feature is the late great Alberta (then B.C.) guitarist Gaye Delorme who is an important part of many of these songs.
I'd be interested in hearing any comments about some of this poetry and the way it's been set to music. I'm in contact with Richard and can give him some of the feedback.