Sveinn Yngvi Egilsson: Hulda's Nature
The article approaches the nature poetry of Hulda (Unnur Benediktsdóttir Bjarklind, 1881–1946) from an ecocritical perspective. It argues that her view of nature cannot be described as being only Neoromantic or Symbolist, but that it also includes the characteristics for which Marshall McLuhan has coined the term interior landscape. Furthermore, Hulda's political view of nature proves to be partly Romantic, as witnessed by the detailed descriptions of landscape and the strong attachment to specific localities which she voices in her poetry. She often writes on the beauty and pleasure associated with nature, but her poems also show signs of melancholy, especially her innovative and rhapsodic þululjóð. The article connect the þululjóð to formal and ideological innovations made by contemporary poets abroad, claiming that they show Hulda to be a more thoroughly modern poet than often assumed. Her free and melancholic verse is compared in this respect with the rhapsodic arabesques of the Danish poet J.P. Jacobsen (1847–1885), who was a favourite of hers. The article concludes that Hulda broke new ground in Icelandic poetry by her particularly combined and melancholic view of nature; which she expressed in a modernist manner in her lyrical work.
Keywords: Hulda (Unnur Benediktsdóttir Bjarklind), Icelandic poetry, nature, ecocriticism, arabesque.