Author: Johanna Venho

The everyday flow

30 June 2006 | Authors, Reviews

Johanna Venho. Photo: Heini Lehväslaiho

Johanna Venho. Photo: Heini Lehväslaiho

Johanna Venho on her own poems

While writing Yhtä juhlaa (‘It’s all a celebration’), my third collection, I was pretty aware of it as a whole. But, generally speaking, the process of writing poetry can’t be fully conscious, or in your control: you can steer it a little, but quite a lot has to be let go. My title shows there’s an irony. It points to the duality of everyday life – and of life in general: both involve celebration and the opposite of celebration.

I’ve played with rhyme – something quite new to me – and reading these poems aloud does, I’ve noticed, work. I’ve recently been having a go at writing song lyrics, too. Something else new is that the collection grows the arc of a story line, and story-telling brings along a fairytale element. More…


30 June 2006 | Fiction, poetry

Poems from Yhtä juhlaa (‘It’s all a big celebration’, WSOY, 2006)

(a square metre, 3.)

Now for the-kick-of-being-the-good-mum:
after the rye porridge
after the sons washed with camomile foam
and slipped into clean sheets
with mummy singing a sweet song.
Something about shadowed snow
and how at the blue twilit-moment one can
go inwards. If you’re up to looking. All that garbage and slag:
ash from the too-small days, clotted with
non-combustible blots, even though here
the sky’s clear
and the windows open to the winds.
Good grief, here we’re making new people.
But all I’d time for
was the track from the dishcloth to the nappy bin,
and back from the children’s painting-table
to the sink. No job
for spoilt girls, this: the prissiest minx
would soon turn woman in this fix:
kids coming next after next,
years of full-time labour
in a square metre where
you make no point about peccadilloes,
because so much is at stake.
You’re no longer a rose,
pimpinella, rosabella,
but subsoil: loam
and spots of unrottable compost.
A feebler person would have reversed on
the first tantrum;
the child’s learnt to say things
and is saying things
I never thought would come. More…