Archive for March, 1999
Poems from Ahava (WSOY, 1998)
And life went on, went on as a kind of weird fugue, a forked path that drops across your eyes, rejecting simple questions. Which summer was that, I ask in December, in a high room, with a tiled stove, a bricked up nostalgic sentence about the warmth of other times, a crossing where all the world's words discover the the comparative degree of silence, the one with meaning. Should I peep across a couple of cloudy stanzas to get a better view, but again my eye conjures up a medieval constricted soul. All that's left is a thirst of all the senses, a frigid study of sentences, of bones.
Viimeinen syli (‘The last embrace’, Otava, 1998)
The hospital looked as if a child had been given a big pile of building blocks and told to make a house, a big house. And then, when the building was ready, more bricks had been brought, and the child had been forced to pile them up over a wider and wider area, to spread rows of blocks across the adults’ routes and over the edge of the carpet until at last it had grown bored and left the last blocks higgledy-piggledy next to its creation.
Around the hospital ran a road from which the whole mess was revealed. Wing after wing, corridors and windows from which no one really ever looked out. The hospital was full of window views that did not belong to anyone, which did not open up from anyone’s office or day-room, but varied meaninglessly like a motorway landscape from the window of an accelerating car. Viivi had been born there, on the sixth floor of the old part of the hospital. As Mikael waited in the tiled fathers’ room next to the room where the Caeserean section was being carried out for his child to be brought to him, the view out had been breathtaking. More…
Extracts from Tom Tom Tom (Gummerus, 1998). Introduction by Soila Lehtonen
A father and daughter in a hospital back garden
Bits of nail flick to the ground as Kokko cuts Tom’s nails, leaving rather brittle nail-ends among the lichen. In the middle of the hospital afternoon they’ve made their way down to the little park, to care for the hands of both of them, all four.
In the days before Africa Tom used to nurse Kokko on the living-room sofa and cut the nails on her most difficult hand, pushed the cuticles back and taught her the care that ought to be taken of nails, or she’d have smarting and pain round the cuticles. Kokko used to plead to be taken into his nail cutting lap oftener than she should, even when she’d really have preferred to grow longer nails. More…