Archive for June, 1991
New Finnish poetry, translated and introduced by Herbert Lomas
The ‘modernist’ revolution in Finnish poetry is now 40 years old, and the art must be ripe for changes.
Of course, the modernism of post-war Finnish poetry was not – except in Haavikko and to some extent in Saarikoski – extremely modernist. The poets were more interested in their content than their experiments. They were perhaps closer to ancient Chinese poets and early Pound than to Eliot in their elided brief juxtapositions and meditations on nature, society and moment-to-moment transience. The poets picked up a few liberties that unshackled them from metrical and rhyming formalities uncongenial to Finnish stress, syntax and phonemics; and they took off to speak about the heart. That is the strength of this poetry, and its originality, since all originality consists in being oneself – which includes one’s national self, and ultimately other people’s selves. And every generation still has to make a new start, admittedly in new circumstances, with the experience of its forefathers from birth to death. More…
A short story from Utslag och andra noveller (‘Rash and other stories’, Alba, 1989). Introduction by Pekka Tarkka
He heard a voice behind him:
‘Hey, Aspelin, what are you doing here?’
Awakening from a half-sleep, he looked around as Ilpo approached his seat.
‘I work near here. I’m teaching math to the visually impaired.’
Ilpo sat down next to him. For several seconds they sat without speaking. Then Aspelin collected himself.
‘Visiting a friend. He lives in Mäkkylä.’ More…