Translation: English and Spanish
Bonus Poetry is a mythological journey through a Bónus supermarket based on the Divine Comedy by Dante. You start in Paradiso, the fruit division, go to Inferno, the meat division, end in Purgatorio, the cleaning products. Bonus Poetry became a bestseller, selling more than bestselling novels 1996. It sold out and was recently reprinted (2003) with 33% more poems and again with 44% more poems and now available in english. Bonus Poetry is possibly the most sold book of contemporary Icelandic Poetry.
Snow White can’t buy six-packs
the dwarves are seven
seven chicken legs, seven cans of coke,
seven dirty dishes, seven dirty sheets,
seven filthy boxers, seven days a week
as usual she was going to toss
seven bottles of beer in her basket
but she changed her mind
bought herself a bottle of red wine
and seven poisoned apples.
Bónus is Iceland’s largest supermarket chain. It has an appealing logo, a pink grinning pig on yellow background. Many people think the logo should become our national flag. Bonus poetry was a response to a poetic crisis in Iceland. Media spoke about poetry being dead, books not selling anymore ot not being read. Poets were complaining about the market and consumerism and so on. Bonus Poetry started as a joke or it really started as the cover and the concept: Selling out, surrendering completely to the market forces, handling poems as any consumer product. The poems began to flow and became a book. Cheap disposable poetry for the everyday consumer. Eventually published by Bonus Supermarkets and sold at the counter at an eternal discount price.
„Foodies and existentialists alike will revel in Andri Snaer Magnason’s Bónus Poetry. We might call it post-Dante, though Magnason’s allusion to the Italian poet trades cantos for bite-sized free verse poems that grapple with consumerism and the human condition. The collection could be described as a happening in itself, after the tradition of Alan Krapow, or as installation art. … a joyful foray into grim realities of late-stage capitalism: at once relatable and tender, as funny as it is urgent… The book offers a humorous take on the poet’s analysis of his surroundings and at the same time a social critique on our material society.“