Author: Arto Kytöhonka

On Sirkka Turkka

Issue 2/1982 | Archives online, Authors

Sirkka Turkka

Sirkka Turkka. Photo: Pertti Nisonen


I met Sirkka Turkka towards the end of the sixties; she was a friend of a girl-friend of mine.

We called her Hemuli. Not that she bore any resemblance to the Hemulen of the Moomin books, but she did view the world with the same charitable curiosity as some of Tove Jansson’s immortal characters.

In the evenings Hemuli would speak with wit and wisdom, as the sky darkened, then paled towards dawn. Her words were spontaneous: she talked of nature, of the city, always with a gentle understanding, a compelling magic which dissolved ideas into music, full of a sad beauty, echoes of loneliness, painful and happy memories. She looked life straight in the eye, without illusions.

What I’m saying, Sirkka Turkka was a master of the spoken word. She was a story-teller, a ballad-singer, a reciter of epic tales, creating literature of a kind no longer recognized as literature. More…