Höpöhöpö Böks

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl

In the summer of 2005, Christian Bök, the author of univocalic lipogram Eunoia, was a guest at the Nýhil international poetry festival in Iceland, an event I organized. After some drinks one evening I leant over and said I thought it was really strange that he'd skipped his own Ö (incidentally CB was born "Christian Book" but found the cross too heavy to bear and changed his name). As the drinking got heavier my bravado grew and I promised that I would produce an Ö chapter for him. Eventually I produced one in Icelandic, did a rough translation, and both the original and the translation were printed together in a chapbook for Christian's 40th birthday.

Höpöhöpö Böks

Köld öld Böks mjög örg.
Ölböl örlög Böks!
Sök Böks kvöl öll kvöld.
Öll göt Gvöðs köld.

Ör hönd Böks sökk,
gjör mörg lönd rök
hönd Böks sökk gröð,
Örg: "Ööööh... Bök!"

Frönsk mön öll hözl Böks.
Rök mök gjör Bök börn.
Börn Böks ör, frökk:
Örn, Ösp, Björn, Björg.

Fökk Bök! Böks sök!
Sölt höf Böks röff
Brött fjöll kjörlönd Böks
Kjörfög Böks frökk stönt.

Mörbörn fjörstöð Böks:
Ösp gjör fönn; Björg gjör stönt;
Sönglög Björns öll böst;
Örn gjör öll lök rök.

För Böks sönn, löng.
Böks höfn löt vör.
Þökk, Gvöð! Römm gjöf:
Gjör Böks tölt ört.

Tölt Bök, tölt, för hröð.
Stökk Bök, stökk, gjör för
Böks fjörför, gjör tök Böks hörð;
flöt Böks jörð gjör stökkför töff.

Böks stöff: Rör, hörslör, gjörð;
Böks rör mjög, mjög löng;
Hörslör Böks gjör hörför;
Gjörð Böks, örlög Böks.

Stök mjöðm Böks hölt,
öxl Böks hörð, tönn Böks skökk,
Böks sköp rök, gröð mök Böks
gjör Bök röff örlög; fökk röff örlög!

Kjöt Böks stökk!; löng stökk kjöts!,
Böks kjöt gjör Böks tögg mjög töff,
öl Böks gjör mön ör, stöff Böks gjör fjör.
Töff, töff, töff! Töff, töff, töff!



My translation:

Bök's cold century is very angry.
Ale curse is Bök's destiny.
bök's guilt is his pain every night.
all of God's holes are cold.

Bök's quick hand sank,
makes many lands moist,
Bök's hand sank horny,
angry: "Uuuuuh... Bök!"

All of Bök's lays are French women,
moist sex makes babies for Bök.
bök's babies are quick, bold:
Örn, Ösp, Björn, Björg.

Fuck Bök! It's Bök's fault!
Bök's salty baths are rough.
Steep mountains are Bök's preferred venue.
Bök's chosen field is daring stunts.

Grease-children are Bök's fun-station:
Ösp makes snow; Björg does stunts;
Björn's singing tunes are a bust
Örn Makes all sheets moist.

Bök's journey is true, long,
Bök's harbour is lazy.
Thanks, God! A powerful gift:
Make Bök's ride fast.

Ride Bök, ride, the journey is fast.
Jump Bök, jump, make the journey
of Bök a fun journey, make Bök's grip hard;
Bök's flat earth makes the jumping journey cool.

Bök's stuff: Pipes, a veil, a hoop;
Bök's pipes are very, very long;
Bök's veil makes veil-marks;
Bök's hoop, the fate of Bök.

Bök's single hip is limp,
Bök's shoulder hard, Bök's tooth crooked,
Bök's cunt is moist, the horny sex of Bök
makes destiny rough for Bök; fuck rough destiny!

Bök's meat jump!; long jumps of meat,
Bök's meat makes Bök's toughness very cool,
Bök's ale makes women quick, Bök's stuff makes fun.
Cool, cool, cool! Cool, cool, cool!

Note: The word Höpöhöpö (more commonly written höpö höpö) is Finnish and means something between "bla bla bla" and "bullshit". Written in one word, it's the longest word I know that has only ö for its vowel (although I have heard unsubstantiated rumours about a synonym: höpölöpö).



Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl (1978-) is an Icelandic poet, novelist and translator. He often works with sound and visual poetry and regularly performs at festivals all over Europe. For his books in Icelandic critics have found reason to compare him to such dissimilar poets as Snorri Sturluson and Vladimir Mayakovsky. Norðdahl's poems have been translated into a dozen languages and his second novel, Eitur fyrir byrjendur (Poison for beginners), was published in Germany, Austria and Switzerland 2010. In 2008 Norðdahl received the Icelandic Translators Award for his translation of Jonathan Lethem's tourettic novel, Motherless Brooklyn. In 2010 his poetry-animation Höpöhöpö Böks received an Honorable Mention at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival Berlin. Eiríkur is a founding member of the Nýhil poet cooperative.