Eirík Örn Norðdahl doing dictators

Icelandic poet Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl is messing with dictators, prime ministers and presidents. On his Ubuweb page, there are two sound poems, "Swing ding" and "Mao! Mao!", in mock homage to Deng Xiaoping and Mao Zedong. He has also written a Pol Pot pantun, a "p-overalliterated reflection of Pol Pot sitting on the can in a brothel," as read here on Icelandic television:

Norðdahl's "Nguy n Sinh Cung from Hoáng Trú" (Ho Chi Minh) has not been recorded yet. "It's in the style of an Icelandic pop song," he told me, "and I've yet to recruit a good pop-group for it."

With Ingólfur Gíslason, Norðdahl is also responsible for Handsprengja í morgunsárið [Hand Grenade in the Morning], a book of poems spliced together from statements by Icelandic and international political leaders. Foreign heavies translated into Icelandic include Saddam Hussein, Silvio Berlusconi, Enersto Che Guevara, Bin Laden and Ronald Reagan, among others, with each represented by at least a page of frankenstein poetry. Chinese and Vietnamese leaders have fancied themselves poets for centuries, with Mao and Ho but two recent examples, while in the USA, George W. Bush is the unwitting author of the much-circulated "Make the Pie Higher," supposedly flarfed together by the Washington Post's Richard Thompson. In cozy Reykjavik, where it's hard to duck friends or enemies, these spoofs may result in retaliations from irate honchos, but so far, nothing. Poetry burns slowly.

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