Finish Poets

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See more on my sites: poetry is rich, vibrant, and complex. Finland has a long poetic history dating back to the days of the great epic poets and runesingers of Kalevala. The Finns are a musical and a poetical people, and the culture still fosters poetic expression. The average Finn doubtless does not realize it, but he could most likely recite a snippet of the Kalevala, a few poems, and the lyrics to countless Finnish folk songs. The Finns are a people who are passionate about preserving their culture and traditions; it is in that spirit that this site is created. This collection is yet but a fraction of Finland's vast body of poetry; it should not be considered as a representative selection—just a small sample of what Finnish poetry has in store, according to my own personal tastes. Included are also song lyrics; since the original Finnish poetical impulse was for the sung word, I see no reason not to include lyrics as poetry.Translating Finnish poetry into English is a frustrating task for any who has tried it. The Finnish language is full of nuance — every word carries with it a connotation, not just of a value judgment, but its inherent environment. There are a plethora of adjectives and descriptive words which have no equivalent in English, or cases in which the English counterpart is "flatter," devoid of meaning, whereas the original word carries with it a specific context of emotion, time, location, or quality. Much of the flavor and rhythm of the language is perforce lost.That said, I hope my translations will at least somewhat lift the veil and offer a glimpse of the beauties of Finnish poetry. —Anniina JokinenOf more modern interest, The Kalevala was also one of the inspirations for Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. In particular, the character of Väinämöinen, a mighty enchanter who has the power to chant a man to sink into the swamp, was one of the inspirations for Gandalf. Tolkien also based the Elven languages on the sounds of the Finnish tongue.

Transcript of Finish Poets

Eino Leino (1878-1926) - originally Eino Armas Leopold LnnbohmFinnish poet, a master of song-like poetic forms, playwright, and novelist. Leino was the most important developer of Finnish-language poetry at the turn of the 20th century, and now probably Finland's most cited poet. In his works Leino combined the archaic and mythic tradition, symbolism, and influences from Friedrich Nietzsche with his romantic concept of the poet as a truth-seeking visionary. Leino's command of the language was outstanding, and he was the first Finnish translator of Dante. Leino's life style was bohemian and from the beginning of his literary career Leino was a well-known figure in the restaurants and cultural elite of Helsinki."Short time's to us allotted till our urn. Living, like furnace flames then let us burn, High let us in the fire be ascending, Earth stays below, the spirit's heavenward tending." (from 'Hymn to Fire')

Eino Leino was born Armas Einar Leopold Lnnbohm in Paltamo, Hvel, the son of Anders Lnnbohm, a surveyor, and Anna Emilia (Kyrenius) Lnnbohm, who came from a priest and an officer's family. He was the seventh and youngest son; there were ten children in all in the family. Leino's father died in 1890 and his mother five years later. These losses were a deep blow to him, which he expressed in his poems in feelings of loneliness and as an orphan. He was educated in Kajaani, Oulu, and Hmeenlinna, graduating from Hmeenlinna Grammar School in 1895. At the age of sixteen Leino published a translation of a poem by Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877), the great Swedish language Finnish poet. In 1895 Leino started his studies at the Imperial Aleksander University of Helsinki. He joined literary and newspaper circles and became a member of the Young Finnish circle. Among Leino's friends were the artist Pekka Halonen and Otto Manninen, who gained fame as a poet and translator. By the end of the century, Leino left the university without taking a degree. He worked as a journalist and critic on the newspapers Pivlehti (18991905) and Helsingin Sanomat (1905-14). His pseudonyms, 'Mikko Vilkastus' and 'Teemu', were from Aleksis Kivi's play Nummisuutarit. Between the years 1898 and 1899 he edited with his brother Kasimir Leino the magazine Nykyaika, and was heavily in debt after its bankruptcy. Also both Russian censorship and self-censorship threatened free expression - Russification of Finlad had started under governor general Nicholas Bobrikov, who was shot to death by Eugen Schauman in 1904. Later Leino planned to include Schauman in his collection of poems about great Finns. When his marriage with Freya Schoultz and dreams of bourgeois life style neared an end in 1908, Leino went abroad and travelled in Berlin, Dresden, Mnich, and Rome. Leino's close friend and companion during the turning point of his life was the poet L. Onerva. Leino lived with her in Rome in 1908-09, before he was divorced from his wife. Both poets were still legally married. Leino's liaison with the writer Aino Kallas from 1916 to 1919 was another scandal - she was the wife of an Estonian diplomat. In Rome Leino

lived at Lungo Tevere Prat and continued with his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. A memorial tablet has been placed on the wall of house where he lived: "In questa casa negli anni 1908-1909 il grande poeta finlandese Eino Leino tradusse La Divina Commedia con amore inspirato alla universalita di Roma." Leino attempted to revive Finnish theatre, and boldly attacked Kaarlo Bergbom, the founder of the Finnish Theatre. His major plays from the beginning of the century include SIMO HURTTA I-II (1904-19), LALLI (1907), and MAUNU TAVAST (1908). From 1915 to 1918 Leino worked as an editor of the magazine Sunnuntai. At the outbreak of the Finnish Civil War (1917-18), Leino was in Helsinki, where he witnessed the battles with his small boozing circle. The reign of the Reds did not win Leino's sympathies; the women's battalion especially horrified the poet: "This was the first time I'd seen so many of them gathered together, and I have to confess, in the name of truth, I've never at any other time witnessed such human savagery, bestial frenzy, mental derangement and physical disfigurement." (trans. by Herbert Lomas, from Helsinki: a literary companion, 2000) After the war Leino's idealistic faith for a national unity collapsed, and his influence as a journalist and polemic writer grew weaker. He was granted a State writer's pension in 1918 at the age of forty. Although publishing prolifically, he had financial problems and his health was giving way. "Life is always struggle with eternal forces," Leino said in a letter in 1925 to his friend Bertel Gripenberg: "Nous sommes pourtant ncessaires. Aussi malades. Mais c'est de la tristesse de la vie, qui pour nous est toujours un combat avec les forces trnelles." - Leino died at Riihiluhta in Nuppulinna on January 10, 1926. "Well Eino Leino - perhaps he was the only Finnish author who can really be called a genius," said Bertel Gripenberg. Leino was married three times, first with Thyra Freya Franzena Schoultz (1905-10), then with the harpist Aino Inez Kajanus (1913-1920), who was the daughter of the conductor Robert Kajanus, and for the third time with Hanna Laitinen (1921, died 1929). Freya Schoultz was a translator and commercial correspondent; and with her for a couple of years the poet enjoyed bourgeois life in a large seaside flat. Leino's only child, Eya Helka, came of this marriage. Leino's first collection of poems, the light-hearted MAALISKUUN LAULUJA, appeared in 1896, when he was eighteen-years old. Later he turned from the free style to the meter and style of folklore. TUONELAN JOUTSEN (1896), a Neo-romantic verse play, combined symbolism and folk poetry. After a journey to Russia Karelia and falling in love with a "nature child", Anni Tiihonen, Leino wrote SATA JA YKSI LAULUA (1898). He started the work in Berlin. It included one of his most beloved poems, 'Hymyilev Apollo', originally part three of the larger poetic work entitled 'Hymni'. Reinhold Roine's (pseudonym R.R.) review of the book in the newspaper Uusi Suometar was hostile. Later Leino published his 'Hymn' in TUULIKANNEL (1919), but to this version he had made small changes. For decades, the poem has been heard on New Year's Eve radio broadcasts. Another popular poem, the resignated 'Nocture', was first published in TALVI-Y (1905). "I have stopped chasing Jack-o'-Lantern, / I hold gold from the Demon's mountain; / around me life tightens its ring, / time stops, the vane has ceased to swing; / the road before me through the gloom / is leading to the unknown room."

Simo Hurtta, an epic poem, took its subject from the long war in the early 18th century between Russia and Sweden-Finland. Talvi-y and HALLA (1908), born in the years of political dissatisfaction, returned to the images of darkness, frost, and cold. His personal crisis led the poet to abandon individual heroes and the theme of death - he focused on cosmic visions and legends. Leino's works, such as PAINUVA PIV (1914) and ELMN KOREUS (1916), still had high artistic values. His first and only screenplay, KES (1913), Leino wrote according to stories in one night - allegedly he had not seen any feature films. After the Finnish Civil war Leino worked productively but on several occasions his efforts led to pathos and empty preaching. During this period there appeared LEIRIVALKEAT (1917), JUHANA HERTTUAN JA CATHARINA JAGELLONICAN LAULUJA (1919), AJATAR (1920), SYREENIEN KUKKIESSA (1920), and SHEMEIKAN MURHE (1924). Leino also wrote plays, essays, contemporary novels, animal fables, and translated into Finnish works from such authors as Racine, Runeberg, Schiller, Anatole France, J.W. von Goethe, Dante, Rabindranath Tagore, Dante (Divine Comedy, 1912-14) and Corneille. His oeuvre includes 32 books of poetry, 25 plays, 25 novels, and 16 translations.Tell me, O Sun, what is that Gives the greatest bliss to the singer? "Do as I do, beam like me, Giving's greatest bliss to the singer." (from 'The Sun's Advice')

Having published several books of verse, Leino produced his major work, HELKAVIRSI (1903-1916, Whit songs), a collection of narrative poetry composed in the trochaic meter. It was based on the Kalevala and folk poetry, and appeared in two collections. Several of the ballads present the past in heroic light, its characters are great visionaries, who challenge their fate or willingly yield to greater forces. "Tss' on mies tmn sukuinen, / kadu ei tehty tekoa / eik taivasta tavota." (from 'Ylermi') The second volume of Whitsuntide songs is more resigned and more mystical than the first, and the symbolism is more obscure. "Uskoin ennen ihmisihin, / en nyt itke, en iloitse, / ohi kyvt onnet heidn, / onnettomuudetkin ohitse, / tiedn kyll kylmyyteni, / en sit sure, en kadu, / se on voitto taisteloiden, / tulos tappion tuhannen." (from 'ijn virsi') Obsession with death marks some later pieces. Leino never wrote a third volume of Helkavirsi, although the noted short story writer Aino Kallas in vain tried to persuade him to do so. Leino's autobiographical books, ALLA KASVON KAIKKIVALLAN, appeared in 1917, and ELMNI KUVAKIRJA in 1925. As an essayist Leino was one of the best of his time. In the unfinished series of essays, SUOMALAISIA KIRJAILIJOITA (1909), he drew well-characterized portraits of Finnish authors. SUOMALAISEN KIRJALLISUUDEN HISTORIA (1910) was a short but insightful history of Finnish literature. Leino also wrote about himself in the book and admits the influence of Goethe on his poetry. He praises Aleksis Kivi's novel The Seven Brothers - "Yht rohkea kuin kirjan sisllys on sen muoto, joka on sekoitus draamallisista, eepillisist ja lyyrillisist

aineksista, kaikki kuitenkin yhtynein klassilliseksi kokonaisuudeksi." Although his general attitude is positive, one exception is Irmari Rantamala's (Maiju Lassila) large and shapeless novel Harhama (1909), which he dismisses as "tasteless". In his own novels Leino reacted to contemporary social, political, and ideological questions. His cycle of novels, TYN ORJA (1911, slave of work), RAHAN ORJA (1912, slave of money), NAISEN ORJA (1913, slave of woman), and ONNEN ORJA (1913, slave of fortune) deals with the modern capitalist world, which destroys idealism.For further reading: Nalle ja Moppe: Eino Leinon ja L. Onervan elm by Hannu Mkel (2003); 'Eino Leino (1878-1926)' by Marja Liisa Nevala, in 100 Faces from Finland, ed. by Ulpu Marjomaa (2000); Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, ed. by Steven R. Serafin (1999, 3. vol.); Mestari by Hannu Mkel (1995); Poliittinen Eino Leino by Yrj Larmola (1990); Eino Leinon tie Paltamosta Roomaan by Teivas Oksala (1986); Eino Leino ja Italia by Peka Lilja (1985); Eino Leino ja Viro by Pekka Lilja (1981); Maan piirist metafyysiseen by Aarre M. Peltonen (1975); Epic of the North by J.I. Kolehmainen (1973); A History of Finnish Literature by J. Ahokas (1973); Mielikuvirn taistelu by MarjaLiisa Kunnas (1972); Studier i Eino Leinos kalevalaromantik by Sakari Vapaasalo (1961); Tuntemani Eino Leino by Aino Thauvn-Suits (1958); Eino Leino aikalaistensa silmin, ed. by Aarre M. Peltonen (1958); Voices from Finland, ed. by E. Tompuri (1947); Eino Leinon runoudesta by V. Tarkiainen (1954); Eino Leino by Olli Nuorto (1938); Eino Leino I-II by L. Onerva (1932) - See also: Aino Kallas, Viktor Rydbergin runoteoksessa Dexippos on Sibeliuksen sveltm ja Eino Leinon suomentama 'Ateenalaisten laulu'. Hella Wuolijoki: Kummituksia ja kajavia. Muistelmia Eino Leinosta ja Gustaf Mattsonista (1947); Juhani Siljo: Eino Leino lyyrikkona (1912) - Note: Eino Leino Award established in 1956 - See also: Eino Leinon Seura - Influence: Larin-Kysti - Film: Runoilija ja Muusa (1978), directed by Jaakko Pakkasvirta, starring Esko Salminen as Eino Leino and Elina Salo as L. Onerva. The film depicted Eino Leino's life and women in it. ELEGIA Haihtuvi nuoruus niinkuin vieriv virta. Langat jo harmaat ly elon kultainen pirta. Turhaan, oi turhaa tartun ma hetkehen kiini, riemua ei suo rattoisa seura, ei viini. Hipyvt taakse tahtoni ylpet pivt. Henkeni hurmat ammoin jo jlkehen jivt. Notkosta nousin. Taasko on painua tieni? Toivoni ainoo: tuskaton tuokio pieni. Tiedn ma: rauha mulle on mullassa suotu. Etsijn tielle ei lepo lempe luotu, pohjoinen puhuu, myrskyhyn aurinko vaipuu, j punajuova: kauneuden voimaton kaipuu. Upposi mereen unteni kukkivat kunnaat. Mies olen kyh: kallit on laulujen lunnaat. Kaikkeni annoin, hetken ma heilua jaksoin, haavehen kullat mieleni murheella maksoin. Uupunut olen, ah, sydnjuurihin saakka! Liikaako lienee pantukin paatinen taakka? Tai olen niit, joilla on tahto, ei voima? Voittoni tyh, tyn tulos tuntoni soima. Siis oli suotta kestetyt, vaikeat vaivat, katkotut kahleet, poltetut, rakkahat laivat? Nytk ma kaaduin, kun oli kaikkeni tarpeen? Jhmetyn jksi, kun meni haavani arpeen. Toivoton taisto taivaan valtoja vastaan! Kaikuvi kannel; lohduta laulu ei lastaan. Hallatar haastaa, soi svel sortuvin siivin. Rotkoni rauhaan kuin peto kuoleva hiivin.

Selected works:


KES, 1913 (screenplay, film directed by Kaarlo Halme, starring Hilma Rantanen, Konrad Tallroth) SEIKKAILIJATAR, 1913 MESIKMMEN, 1914 PAINUVA PIV, 1914 PANKKIHERROJA, 1914 PAAVO KONTIO, 1915 ELMN KOREUS, 1915 HELKAVIRSI, 1903-16 - Whitsongs MUSTI, 1916 ALLA KASVON KAIKKIVALLAN, 1917 KARJALAN KUNINGAS, 1917 LEIRIVALKEAT, 1917 HELSINGIN VALLOITUS, 1918 AHVENET JA KULTAKALAT, 1918 VAPAUDEN KIRJA, 1918 VYRIN SOTAKOULU, 1918 SIMO HURTTA I-II, 1904-19 - film 1940, dir. by Roland af Hllstrm, starring SanteriKarilo, Aili Tikka, Hannes Veivo



'Poetry after all in itself is a translation.' (Joseph Brodsky, 1977) No poet specifically belongs to a country; yet, as most Finnish poets, both men and women, would admit, a poet has to explore a particular angle, a particular location of experience that belongs to a place. A poet stands, as Mirkka Rekola has said, 'like a narrow gate in a landscape'. Through that gate, through that articulated perception, the whole landscape may come into existence.

Finland's poetic tradition is full of silences, lacunae, and sheer struggle for survival instead of schematic continuity, as tradition is generally seen by literary historians, there is a singularly unified, but intermittent, poetic inspiration that extends from the centuriesold oral tradition to con- temporary modernism. This evolution is not parallelled by any other present-day literature. Finnish poetry has developed on the periphery of European civilization, and its off-centre characteristics are emphasized by the fact that its language is non-Indo- European, and that its mythology is shamanistic; but some of its themes and motives resemble those that could be found in the poetry of the centrally European psyche. Thus even in the folk poetry, there are narrative poems that are mixtures of different sources, as for instance in the medieval cycle about the birth of Christ, where a Finnish maiden Marjatta, a variant of the Virgin Mary, becomes pregnant by eating cranberries (a berry in Finnish is marja). In modern Finnish poetry, too, the new forms are constantly sought after and created by the meshing together of different sources, different orders of experience. To read Finnish literature has been a notoriously problematic task for foreigners. Translations from Finnish are few, much fewer than for instance from Hungarian, a related language of the Ugrian family. But there is a certain inaccessibility that goes beyond the literal level. To perceive this distinctive style would necessitate entering into the universe of metaphors, metonyms, and symbols that have sprung from roots other than those familiar to a European reader. Finnish language has no European history; its vocabulary as well as its deep structure flow elsewhere. It was this common history of language on which poets like Eliot or Pound could capitalize for their effects, and which truly creates intertextuality, poetic allusion, and in the final analysis, poetic tradition. Oral literature has survived in Finland until this century. Folk poetry, of which thousands of variants survive, was sung both by men and women. Oral culture depends on memory and must be passed on through the telling of its stories, through sacred narratives and foundation myths, as well as other tales relating to the more practical level of existence. The collapse of the oral mode of maintaining cultural processes is a trauma, a source of terrible anguish and deep guilt for a culture. In Finland, the disintegration of a homogeneous symbolic universe that characterizes oral poetry has happened relatively late, in fact coinciding with the arrival of modernism, and paralleling the transition from an agricultural society to an urban, industrialized one. Modernism arrived in Finland first in the work of Swedish- Finnish modernists, particularly of Edith Sdergran (1892- 1923), shortly after World War I. It is interesting to note that women poets were among the first representatives of writing that sacralized art and liberated the forms of expression such as metre, diction and syntax, as well as held poetry to be an individual expression, wanting to oppose both realism and philosophical positivism which dominated Finnish literature in the nineteenth century. Perhaps this is because lyrical poetry is by nature both private and anti-traditionalist; and both these modes are fully in the range of experience of a woman writer. Edith Sdergran has remained one of the greatest poets of twentieth-century Finnish literature, widely translated and read across the boundaries of class, gender and generation, although her work was ignored at first by the literary establishment. Her poetry depicts individual experience in raw, direct terms, yet capturing the collective imagination. It tells of a withdrawal from the world of culture and people and from discursive language, from the truth that has been defined by men. It is through such

withdrawal and deliberate forgetting that she can reach her own truth, the absoluteness and purity of inward passion. This tradition is still strong in contemporary poetry written by women. Yet, despite the undeniable female presence in Finland's literature, both oral and written, both sung and silently remembered, every poet has had to start from the beginning. Women poets are curiously much more outlawed and destitute with regard to poetic tradition and cultural crib than male writers, even now; the tradition is thinner, and the territory of unexplored subjects far wider. Each imaginative claim has expanded the availability of topics for other poets, and it is through such acts, daring or rebellious by necessity, that women poets have been able to render a complex, polymorphous reality in poetic terms, which is equally useful for male poets - for poetry does not know sex, or then, it knows them all. Each poet in this book has added something new to the range of topics that poetry can practise; some have selected a single, special point of view, like perhaps Arja Tiainen or Anne Hnninen; some, like Eeva-Liisa Manner or Sirkka Turkka, for instance, have explored several planes of projected existence. Philosophy, history, cultural mythology, visual art, world politics, have all become subjects for poetry alongside the traditional, universal topics that relate to private experience, love, the loss of loved ones, the brevity of life, and the consolation of nature. This anthology aims to give a multi-faceted picture of the poetry written in Finland in the 1980s. Admittedly this picture cannot be complete, for only eleven women's voices are represented. However, it is through these select visions, these individual explorations of being in the modern world, that I hope a fuller view will emerge. Reading through the poetic work of a great number of modern women poets has convinced me - as I hope it will the reader - of the vitality of Finnish poetry, even at the moment when the greatest fears of its being submerged into a multilateral, international whole are being expressed in Finland. But a new sense of exploration and adventure can also be felt at a time when the maps of Europe are being redrawn in many places, and when history is being given back the polygenetic meaning that it has always had in the European past. These ideas can be felt in poetry even when it deals with private and intimate areas of human experience. As T.S. Eliot has said, 'the poetry of a people . . . represents its highest point of consciousness, its greatest power and its most delicate sensibility'. It is these crystallizations of thought and feeling that I hope a poetry anthology could give to a reader who may be unfamiliar with the larger context of the poems presented. All the poets in this anthology, with the exception of Marja-Liisa Vartio who died at the age of 41 in 1966, are writing at the present day. Eeva-Liisa Manner and Mirkka Rekola made their names in the 1950s, and are generally regarded as all but classics in Finland. Sirkka Turkka, Satu Koskimies [form. Satu Marttila], Eira Stenberg, and Arja Tiainen started publishing in the 1970s. Tua Forsstrm, Kirsti Simonsuuri, and Anne Hnninen began in the 1980s; and Annukka Peura published her first collection only last year [1989]. Among the diversity of voices there are also certain similarities, and maybe a congeniality of spirit. In a certain sense, one can see resemblances between Vartio and Hnninen, both of the mythical darkness; between Manner and Peura, both explorers of invisible dimensions; between Rekola and Koskimies, both of whom are poets of language. Forsstrm writes in Swedish, and her poetic language may have a slightly

different timbre at times; her poetic psyche, however, as was the case with the SwedishFinnish modernists of the 1920s, seems to me to be Finnish, its lyrical, imagistic space filled with forests, water, winds, and the eternal movement within. But the differences are also evident. All the poets in this book have a sense of identity that is fully their own, fully unique. It is for this reason that I asked each poet in this anthology to write a short preface of their own, instead of a biographico- literary introduction written by the editor. These prefaces reached me in the summer of 1990, and add to the personal and topical presences that the poems themselves demonstrate. Kirsti Simonsuuri Helsinki, August 1990

Finnish poetry is rich, vibrant, and complex. Finland has a long poetic history dating back to the days of the great epic poets and runesingers of Kalevala. The Finns are a musical and a poetical people, and the culture still fosters poetic expression. The average Finn doubtless does not realize it, but he could most likely recite a snippet of the Kalevala, a few poems, and the lyrics to countless Finnish folk songs. The Finns are a people who are passionate about preserving their culture and traditions; it is in that spirit that this site is created. This collection is yet but a fraction of Finland's vast body of poetry; it should not be considered as a representative selectionjust a small sample of what Finnish poetry has in store, according to my own personal tastes. Included are also song lyrics; since the original Finnish poetical impulse was for the sung word, I see no reason not to include lyrics as poetry. Translating Finnish poetry into English is a frustrating task for any who has tried it. The Finnish language is full of nuance every word carries with it a connotation, not just of a value judgment, but its inherent environment. There are a plethora of adjectives and descriptive words which have no equivalent in English, or cases in which the English counterpart is "flatter," devoid of meaning, whereas the original word carries with it a specific context of emotion, time, location, or quality. Much of the flavor and rhythm of the language is perforce lost.

That said, I hope my translations will at least somewhat lift the veil and offer a glimpse of the beauties of Finnish poetry. Anniina Jokinen

The Kalevala

Kalevala is the Finnish National Epic. The earliest stories date back to prehistoric days, possibly more than 3000 years, and The Kalevala still survives (sparsely) in the oral tradition in parts of Karelia. It was first collected and compiled from hundreds of runesingers in the early 1800s by a country doctor named Elias Lnnrot, who walked the country on foot from village to village to preserve the ancient mythological tales. His compilation was first published in 1835. The Kalevala predates the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf by hundreds of years and is incredibly long (over 2 million verses have been collected so far) and no-one knows how much was lost of the stories over the centuries. For more detailed information on The Kalevala, please refer to Wikipedia. Of more modern interest, The Kalevala was also one of the inspirations for Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. In particular, the character of Vinminen, a mighty enchanter who has the power to chant a man to sink into the swamp, was one of the inspirations for Gandalf. Tolkien also based the Elven languages on the sounds of the Finnish tongue. I have been seriously dismayed at the poor translations of the Kalevala that exist. I don't even want to discuss the e-texts I found there are flagrant errors and a lack for the feel of the rhythms of the language and the moods of the storytelling. I haven't of course seen all the printed translations of The Kalevala, so if someone knows of a worthy one, please let me know I will happily recant. For now, here is an excerpt from the Fifteenth Poem, which probably dates from around 800 AD. Nota bene: The following translation does not preserve the Kalevala metre. I tried that, but faithfully and artificially keeping it distorted the original content of the lines, words being more often polysyllabic in Finnish than they are in English. I thought it more prudent to reproduce the content and taste of the text, rather than violating it by being enslaved by the metre, adding words for syllables' sake, which may change emphases or intentions in the process. Furthermore, since the poem was meant to be sung, and orally recited, I thought preserving the fluency and flow of the text paramount. I have tried my best to keep any taking of license to a minimum.

AJ Intro: In the Fifteenth Poem, the mother of Lemminkinen (the hero, whose name means "son of Lemmi", but also carries the connotations of "Beloved One" and "Son of Love", and whose other name Kaukomieli means "FarMind") senses something ill has befallen her heroic son. When a hairbrush starts bleeding red drops of blood, the mother goes to find what has happened to her child. The Mistress of Pohjola (Northtown), the gaptoothed Louhi, has sent Lemminkinen on a quest to Tuonela, Land of Death, to kill the Swan of Death that swims on the River of Death. Lemminkinen has died and his body is lost in the Tuoni, the River of Death. His mother asks the smith, Ilmarinen (Man of Air), the forger of the dome of the skies, to forge her a mighty rake of copper, with which she can seek her son in the River of Death.

Poem XV(ll.210-608)

***** The mother of Lemminkinen herself gets the rake of iron, Flies to the river of death. Prays to the Day: "Oh Day, created by God, our Creator's creation, our light! Shine one moment hotly, another humidly heat, The third in a full blaze: make sleep the sly bunch, Tire the folks of the Cursedlands, O'erpower the Kingdom of Death!" The said Day, created by God, the Maker's creation sunny, Flew to the top of the birch tree, onto the branch of the alder. Shone a moment hotly, another humidly heated, A third fully blazing: made sleep the sly bunch, Tired the Cursedland people, the young men onto their swords, Elders against their staves, the middle-aged onto their spears. Thence it flew, whisked away, to the top of the smooth heavens, To its earlier resting place, to its home of old. Then the mother of Lemminkinen took the iron rake; Rakes for her son in the roaring rapids, In the rushing stream. Rakes and does not find. Thence she moves in deeper: wading into the waters, Up to her garters in the stream, up to her waistband in water. Rakes for her son the length of Death's river, Dragging cross-current. Dragged once, then again: Gets the shirt of her boychild, a shirt to her heart's sorrow; Dragged yet once more: got socks, met the hat, Socks to her great grief, the hat to her annoyance. Stepped even deeper from there, to the deeps of the Cursd Lands. Dragged once along the water, once more across the water, A third diagonally. And then on this, the third try, A bale of wheat came against the iron rake. A bale of wheat it was not: but it was the flighty Lemminkinen, The beauteous Farmind himself, caught in the tine of the rake By his ring finger, by his left toe. Arose the flighty Lemminkinen, rose the son of Kaleva, On the rake of copper to the top of the waters smooth; Yet was a little lacking: one hand, half a head, Many other members, most of all his life. His dam at this fell wondering, thus she crying saith: "Would this yet make a man, a male worked anew?" A raven overheard it. To that it replied: "There is no man in the passed-away, nor barely in the remains: His eyes have been eaten by whitefish, his shoulders split by the pike. Leave the man to the waters, push him into the River of Death! Mayhap he'll become a cod fish, or grow strengthened into a whale." But this is the mother of Lemminkinen, she will not drop her son. Drags once more with her rake of copper Along the river of Deathland, as well as the river acrost, Gains a hand, a piece of the head, gains half a shoulderblade,

The other half of the rib bones, many other members. Out of these she 'gan to build her son, refashioning flighty Lemminkinen. Rejoined the flesh to flesh, bones into bones slipped, Joints to joints, veins to collapsd veins. Herself the veins knitted, the ends of veins knotted, Vein-threads smoothed out, conjuring these words: "Sweet is the mistress of the veins, Suonetar, graceful woman, Lovely spinner of veins on her beautiful spinning wheel, With her copper spindle and iron wheel! Arrive when you are needed, come here when you are beckoned, A vein-bundle in your lap, a membrane scroll under your arm, These veins to knit, ends of veins to knot, In these broken wounds, in these ripped out holes! "Since I doubt that will suffice, there is a maiden on the air, In a boat of copper, a vessel with a red stern. Come, maid, from above the air, maiden from the nave of the sky! "Row this boat through the veins, shaking up these limbs, Row through the slots in the bones, along the cracks in the joints! "Put the veins in their places, set them in their stations: Mouth to mouth the greater veins, against each other the arteries, Side by side the sidling veins, head to head the small ones! "Thence, take a misty needle, a closing clamp at needle's end! Sew with misty needles, with tin needles stitch: The ends of veins tie up, knit them with silken bands! "Since I doubt that's enough, the God of Air himself, Harness your colts, team up your steeds! Ride your varicolored chariot through bone, through joint, Through the moving-muscles, through the flowing veins! Bind bone to flesh, vein to end of vein, Pour silver into the slots in the bones, gold in collapsd veins! "Where a membrane's missing, set a membrane a-growing, Where a vein's collapsd, set a vein a-knitting, Whence the blood has run off, set more blood a-flowing, Whence the bone has rotted, slip more bone in its stead, Whence the flesh removd, set new flesh befitting, Each thing to its blessd place, set in its rightful place: Bone to bone, flesh to flesh, joints to their joints!" Thus the mother of Lemminkinen made the man, curried the male, To his former being, to his ancient likeness. Got the veins straightened, the ends of veins smoothened, Yet the man remained speechless, wordless her child. Thence she put it into words, herself spoke, thus named: "Whence now can balm be gotten, a drop of mead be brought, With which to anoint the weakened, to heal the one come to ill, For to bring the man to words, to break him into his songs?

"Bumblebee, our bird, king of the forest flowers! Leave now, honey to fetch, some mead to gain, From the pleasant Forest House, from well-ordered Tapiola, From the bulbs of many flowers, from the hem of many a grass, As a salve for sick ones, to make the ill things well!" Bumblebee, swift bird, by now flew, a-flitted To the pleasant Forest House, to well-ordered Tapiola. Pecked the flowers in the field, boiled honey on his tongue From the noses of six flowers, the hem of a hundred hay. Thence he arrives a-puffing, lumberingly comes, All his wings mead-covered, feathers in molten honey. The selfsame mother of Lemminkinen took some of these salves, With them anointed the weakened one, treated the one come to ill: There were no help in these, no words for the man. This she put into words: "Bumblebee, my birdling! Fly over to another place, over nine seas To a covered island, to a honey'd continent, To Thor's new house, the roofless house of the worshipped-one! There is pleasant honey there, there is goodly balm, That will be fitting for the veins, agreeable to the joints. Do bring to me those ointments, carry me those salves, For me to place on the damage, on the wounds to pour!" Bumblebee, fellow lightfooted, again flew a-gliding Over seas nine, half a sea of a tenth. Flew a day, flew another, flew soon a third, Without sitting on a stalk, not a moment's rest on a leaf, To a covered island, to a honey'd continent, On the brink of a raging rapids, by the sacred river's swirl. There was honey being boiled, salves were being made, In the tiniest kettles, in the prettiest pots, The size of a thumb to go in, fitting on a finger's end. Bumblebee, fellow lightfooted, did receive those salves. A little time passed, a tiny bit went by: Already came back huffing, arrived a-staggering, With six cups in his arms, seven on his back, They chock full of ointments, full up of goodly salves. Herself the mother of Lemminkinen rubbed him with those oils, With nine ointments, with eight salves: Yet received no aid, he did not from these utter. So she said these words, uttered this sentence: "Bumblebee, bird of the air! Fly away a third time Up to the highest heavens, to above the ninth heaven! There they do farm the mead, as much honey as the heart could wish, With which before the Creator enchanted, chanted our pure God, Anointed the Creator his children, by evil powers injured. Wet your wings in that mead, your feathers in molten honey, Bring the mead on your wings, carry the honey in your cape, As salve for those who are sick, as cure for injuries!"

Bumblebee, bosombird, he to her words replied: "How on earth would I get there, I, man of little strength!" "Well will you get there, prettily you'll tread: Over moon, under sun, and through the stars of hope. One day's flight a-winging, to the brows of the moon, Thence a second a-swimming, to the shoulders of the Great Bear, The third even higher a-rising, to the back of the seven stars; From there it's only a short trip, the tiniest tidbit, To reach the holy God, to the dwellings of the blessed." Bumblebee from the ground arose, the mead-wing from the meadow; Already flew a-flapping, with little wings flitted. Flew around the arc of the moon, brushed the hem of the sun, Past the shoulders of Odin's Wain, by the Sennstar's back: Flew to the Creator's cellars, to the chamber of the almighty. There the salves are being made, ointments are being made, In silvery cauldrons, in kettles of gold: Honey was boiling in the middle, on the sides was melted butter, Mead at the nose of it all, on top of the bottom greases. Bumblebee, bird of the air, got thence plenty of meads, Honies to heart's content. There passed a little time: Soon he came a-puffing, lumbered back a-huffing A hundred horns on his lap, a thousand other lumps, Some with mead, some with water, some with the supreme salve. From these the mother of Lemminkinen put in her own mouth, Those tested with her tongue, very gladly tasted: "These are those salves, the almighty's ointments, With which God anointed, the Creator poured on wounds." With these she anointed the weakened, treating the one come to ill. Anointed through the slots in bones, through the gaps in limbs, Anointed below, anointed above, once brushed through the middle. Thence she put it into words, herself stated and uttered: "Arise from a-laying, rise up from sleeping From these bad places, from this hard luck's bed!" Arose the man from laying, awoke from dreaming. Finally able to speak, with his own tongue to tell: "A week, mother, I slept, a long time, mother, I lay there! I slept very soundly, deeply did I snort." Said the mother of Lemminkinen, herself stated and uttered: "You would have lain longer, longer than a week stretched out, Without your poor mother, without your shrewd bearer." "Say now, my unfortunate son, tell for my ears to hear: What brought you to the Cursd Lands, pushed you into the River of Death?" Said the fiery Lemminkinen, responded to his mother: "Rot Hat the cowherd, swollen-eyes of Untamola, He led me to the Cursd Lands, pushed into the River of Death. A waterviper from the waters he raised, an adder from the waves Against a powerless me; I did not even know this,

Knew not the waterserpent's hatred, the sting of the tubular wyrm." Said the mother of Lemminkinen, "Oh, you mindless man! You bragged the witches to bewitch, the Lappish to outsing: And you know not the waterserpent's hatred, the sting of the tubular wyrm! From the waters is the viper born, the tubular wyrm from the waves, From the good brains of the long-tailed duck, from inside the sea-swallow's head. The Devouress spat it onto the waters, set it on the waves; Water stretched it out long, the sun beat it soft. Thence the wind rocked it, the water spirit shook it, The waves brought it towards shore, the spray threw it onto land." Then the mother of Lemminkinen cradled her beloved one, Back to bygone strengths, to his ancient form, Even a little better, even more whole than before.

Risto RasaHn oli hyvin yksininen, tilasi lehden jotta joku kvisi hnen ovellaan. - Risto Rasa He was very lonely, Ordered the paper So that someone would come to his door. - Risto Rasa Kun pieni lapsi nukkuu, se tytt yhden kokonaisen huoneen. - Risto Rasa A small child sleeping Fills an entire room. - Risto Rasa -

On aamu. Parvekkeen kaiteelta hypp varpunen keittin ikkunan alle tutkimaan, onko iti ravistanut pytliinan. - Risto Rasa -

It is morning. From the balcony railing a sparrow hops Below the kitchen window to investigate Whether mother has shaken the tablecloth. - Risto Rasa -

Koira tulee illalla kotiin. Kun se kiertyy paikalleen ja nukahtaa, alkaa sen sydnlmp levit huoneisiin - Risto Rasa -

In the evening, the dog comes Home. When he curls up in his spot And falls asleep, His heart's-warmth starts spreading Into the rooms. - Risto Rasa -

Kuutamo. Veden partaalla istuu sammakko ja hieroo rillej hihaan. - Risto Rasa -

Moonlight. By the water Sits a frog, wiping His glasses on his sleeve. - Risto Rasa -

Kes. Hyttynen hoitaa heinnuhaani akupunktiolla. - Risto Rasa -

Summer. The mosquito treats My hayfever with acupuncture. - Risto Rasa -

Niin kuin aalto uittaa aallon yli valtameren, niin selviydymme mekin toinen toisiamme tukien. - Risto Rasa -

Just as one wave carries another wave Across the ocean, So we, too, survive One supporting the other. - Risto Rasa -

Olen kuin vanha talo. Jos lakkaat lmmittmst minua, rapistun. - Risto Rasa -

I am like an old house, If you stop heating me, I will deteriorate. - Risto Rasa -

Minun paras kaverini yhteen aikaan oli tytt. Me koetimme tavata niin ettei kukaan nhnyt ja kvelimme johonkin rauhalliseen paikkaan leikkimn. Me teimme karjatiloja: pikkukivist aitoja ja karsinoita, tikuista ja kvyist lehmi ja paljon hevosia; meist tulisi hevosfarmareita Lnteen. Kotiin me palasimme eri teit, min muina miehin toisten poikien joukkoon leikkimn poikien leikkej. Kun hn sai silmlasit, olin min muiden mukana ilkkumassa. - Risto Rasa -

My best friend At one time was a girl. We tried to meet so nobody would see And we walked someplace Peaceful to play. We made ranches: From pebbles, fences and stalls, From sticks and pinecones, cows And lots of horses; We were going to be horse ranchers in the West. We returned home by different routes, I casually rejoining the other boys To play boys' games. When she got glasses, I was right there, jeering along with the others. - Risto Rasa -

Odotan sinua takaisin. Kulkisimme kaikki tutut paikat ja ne tuntuisivat minusta melkein uusilta. - Risto Rasa -

I await your return. We'd walk through all the familiar places And they would seem almost new to me. - Risto Rasa -

Olet jttnyt minuun valtakunnan, jota ei miehitet. - Risto Rasa -

You have left in me A kingdom That will not be conquered. - Risto Rasa -

Eeva Kilpi'sSano heti jos min hiritsen, hn sanoi astuessaan ovesta sisn, niin min lhden saman tien pois. Sin et ainoastaan hiritse, min vastasin, sin jrkytt koko minun olemustani. Tervetuloa. - Eeva Kilpi Sinun jljiltsi katson itseni; silmieni ymprill onnelliset poimut. - Eeva Kilpi - Eeva Kilpi Tell me immediately if I'm disturbing you, He said, coming in the door, And I will leave right away. You not only disturb, I answered, You shake my whole being. Welcome. - Eeva Kilpi -

After you, I look at myself; Around my eyes, happy wrinkles.

Rakkaus: vallankumous ihmisess. Love: a revolution within man. - Eeva Kilpi - Eeva Kilpi Jo puolivliss tiski kaipaa suudelmia vanhakin vaimo. - Eeva Kilpi - Eeva Kilpi Rakkaus on lepo. Oikeastaan ainoa lepo mit ihmisell on. Eik mikn ole niin rasittavaa. Love is rest. Actually, the only rest humans have. And nothing is as exhausting. Already halfway through the dishes Yearns for kisses Even an older wife.

Ja se on vapautta. Eik kuitenkaan mikn sido niin paljon. Siin on rakkauden paradoksi. Ilman rakkautta ihminen kantaa kuin taakkaa koko ajan ja on yksinisyytens vanki, niin vapaa kuin yksin ollessaan onkin. - Eeva Kilpi -

And it is freedom. And yet, nothing binds us as securely. Therein lies love's paradox. Without love, it is as if one carried a burden All the time and was prisoner to his loneliness, No matter how free he is in his aloneness. - Eeva Kilpi -

Sinun tuoksusi minussa monta piv, monta piv rakastan itseni. - Eeva Kilpi Koiratta on kuonoa ja kahta luppakorvaa yksinisempi. Y on toista hengityst vajaa. En pelk ikvin. - Eeva Kilpi Meidn tulisi sanoa toisillemme, ei anteeksi, kun tnisin vaan kiitos kun kosketit. - Eeva Kilpi Kun suru hipyy tulevat muistot ja jokainen niist koskee yksitellen. - Eeva Kilpi Nukkumaan kydess ajattelen: Huomenna min lmmitn saunan,

Your scent on me For many days, For many days I love myself. - Eeva Kilpi Without a dog, it is one snout And two floppy ears lonelier. The night is without another breath. I do not fear I yearn. - Eeva Kilpi We should say to one another, Not, sorry, I bumped into you, But, thank you, for touching me. - Eeva Kilpi When sorrow fades Come the memories, And each of them Hurts uniquely. - Eeva Kilpi Going to sleep, I think: Tomorrow I will heat up the sauna, Pamper myself, Walk, swim, wash,

pidn itseni hyvn, kvelytn, uitan, pesen, kutsun itseni iltateelle, puhuttelen ystvllisesti ja ihaillen, kehun: Sin pieni urhea nainen, min luotan sinuun. - Eeva Kilpi -

Invite myself to evening tea, Speak to myself in a friendly and admiring way, praising: You brave little woman, I believe in you. - Eeva Kilpi -

Finnish Songs and Lyrical PoemsFinnish Christmas SongsSylvian joululaulu San. Zachary Topelius (1818-1898) Sv. Karl Collan (1828-1871) Knns M.Korpilahti Ja niin joulu joutui jo taas Pohjolaan joulu joutui jo rintoihinkin. Ja kuuset ne kirkkaasti luo loistoaan jo pirtteihin pienoisihin. Mut ylhll orressa viel on vain se hkki mi sulkee mun sirkuttajain, ja vaiennut vaikerrus on vankilan; oi, murheita muistaa ken vois laulajan! S thdist kirkkain, nyt loisteesi luo sinne Suomeeni kaukaisehen! Ja sitten kun sammuu sun tuikkeesi tuo, s siunaa se maa muistojen! Sen vertaista toista en mistn ma saa, on armain ja kallein mull' ain' Suomenmaa! Ja kiitosta sen laulu soi Sylvian ja soi aina lauluista sointuisimman. Sylvia's Christmas Song Lyr. Zachary Topelius Mus. Karl Collan Tr. Anniina Jokinen And now it is Christmas in my lovd north, Is it Christmas as well, in the heart? And bright Christmas candles do spread their light forth, To each little cabin and hearth. But up in the rafters there hangs high above, The cage that imprisons my soul's turtledove; And quiet are now all the prisoners' groans, But oh, who pays heed to a prisoner's moans? Oh shine you, the brightest of stars in the sky, On my Finland so far, far from here; When finally your light in the darkness doth die, Oh, bless you that land, oh so dear! I never will find one of equal worth, My dearest will always be my land of birth; My country to praise, I sing Sylvia's song; It e'er will remain as a song pure and strong.

Tuikkikaa oi joulun thtset (1918) San. Elsa Koponen Sov. P. J. Hannikainen Tuikkikaa oi joulun thtset kilpaa lasten thtisilmin kanssa. Kertokaatte joulun satua, yht uutta yht ihanaa, mielt viihtv kuin muinen lasna.

Shine forth ye stars (1918) Lyr. Elsa Koponen Mus. P. J. Hannikainen Tr. Anniina Jokinen Now shine forth, ye stars of Christmas eve, Shine along with children's starry eyes; Tell the story of the Christmas night, Ever new, and ever wondrous bright, Comforting us like when we were children.

Helkkyk oi joulun laulelot, rinnoista niin riemurikkahista. Soikoon svel leikki leiskukoon, rinnan riemusta se kertokoon, mielt viihten kuin muinen lasna. Kerran loppuuun satu joulun saa Suru sveli sumentaapi. Kerran silmn tytt kyyneleet, virtaa vuolahina tuskan veet, siks oi thtisilmt loistakaa.

Now sound forth, ye songs of Christmas eve, Chime from chests whose joys are overflowing; Make the music, let the games be played, Happiness of hearts be here displayed, Comforting us like when we were children. Time comes, when the Christmas story ends; Gravest grief like fog will shadow all; Day will come when tears will overflow, Waves of suffering will greatest grow; Thus now, starry eyes, you must shine forth.