Author: Aila Meriluoto

Suddenly here, fully present

5 April 2011 | Fiction, poetry

The women in mirrors who recur in the work of Aila Meriluoto (born 1924) are poetic figures who have featured in her poetry since her first collection, published in 1946. In these new poems, from Tämä täyteys, tämä paino (‘This fullness, this weight’), she also describes women who are ‘alive to the brim’ or ‘extreme ballerinas’. Introduction by Mervi Kantokorpi

We live in strange times
my skull full of echoes.
The rose has throbbed
the heart flowered.
In the mirror a girl on her head,
from the wall steps an old woman,
all of them familiar,
none remembered.

Suddenly here.
Fully present.
Eighty-five years.
Hands wrinkled, shaky legs.
And alive to the brim.
And over. Dripping.

Surging. More…

Youth revisited

Issue 4/1986 | Archives online, Authors, Extracts, Non-fiction

Extracts from a diary. Introduction by Kai Laitinen


I thought I might weep today, now that it’s evening and I’m alone. But after all, I’m not weary enough. Instead I’ll read some Rilke: The Book of Hours, Stunden-Buch. Whose pages I turned at seventeen and tried to see. Now it’s all simply backtracking. Rilke’s the weeping I was expecting. That soft bitter swirling I sink into without troubling myself whether it’s good for me or bad.

I’ve been three days without writing a poem and it’s beginning to nag me already. Earlier, I was three months and it bothered me less. But I shan’t weep. I’ll read Rilke. I’m that young monk who believes he’s capable of being some day so afraid his arteries will burst. More…


Issue 4/1986 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Introduction by Kai Laitinen

Evening Mood

It’s widening:
an evening like a sigh –
languidly spreading across the land.
The tree’s unclothing
its branches of their colours, darkening.
As if something somewhere
were ringing and ringing –
a song straying like an orphan.
The words seem
something I’ve heard:
‘only a shadow –
only a shadow of a dream’

It’s slipping away. It’s dwindling.
Everything – everything – I’ve been given
I’ll give away. More…