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Theodóra Thoroddsen: Þulur

Þulur by Theódóra Thoroddsen (1 July 1863 – 23 February 1954) were first published in 1916. Þulur represent a poetic genre that is comparatively free in form, with no division into stanzas and with a narrative thread that is often confusing. Over the centuries þulur were transmitted orally from generation to generation and were often blended with newly created ones. The first of Theodóra's “þulur‟ were published in the review Skírnir in 1914, followed by a book two years later. Illustrations for the book were provided by the artist Guðmundur Thorsteinsson (Muggur) and Theodóra´s son, Sigurður Thoroddsen.

In an article Theódóra explained why she made use of this poetic form: as a mother of 13 children she often needed to keep her older ones quiet whilst the younger ones were sleeping. Theódóra and her husband, Skúli Thoroddsen (6 January 1859 - 21 May 1916), parliamentarian and editor, were known for raising their children in a more liberal way than was customary at that time and there were frequently many visitors in their home. One of their descendants, Ármann Jakobsson, published in 2008 a novel, Vonarstræti, based on a part of their lives.


Here you can read the edition from 1916 (in Icelandic): Þulur

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