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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Get well, Arni

Days ago I posted a poem translated into Icelandic by Arni Ibsen who had devised a quick contest for all us 'snapshot' poets on the poetryetc email list. Over the last couple of years, I've got to know Arni through his regular posts to the list, his poems in English and his discussions about things literary, often with an understandable Icelandic angle. Sadly we have heard Arni has suffered a brain haemorrhage and is in a coma. The prognosis is not good.

We are so far away here in Australia, and I've never met the man or heard his voice -yet I am very upset for him, and for those around him - his family and friends. I consider him and the other poets on that list to be my friends, too, and am baffled about what to do with these emotions I feel. Write a poem would be the obvious route, but poems are rarely obvious - they often come from left of field. All I can see are the lights and stark features of an ICU and an indefinable person lying on a hospital bed with tubes and wires. I've seen it before and wish I had a face to put to him - for Arni.

I'll light a candle, as has been suggested by Alison Croggon, the list's owner and coordinator these days. Perhaps the warmth of all our candles will help Arni recover - little glowing flames of love around the world for one warm Icelandic poet.

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