Author: Eira Stenberg

Time walks slowly

30 June 2002 | Fiction, poetry

When Eira Stenberg (born 1943) began writing in the heat of of Africa, her pen sank into the paper like a tattooing needle into the skin, she says. Her experiences there are alive in her book of poems entitled Siksi seurustelen varkaiden kanssa (‘That’s why I consort with thieves’, Tammi, 2002)

The journey

Wheels clattering, landscape speeding by the window to the past
notebook on lap she understood the journey’s essence,
that it’s a lap she lost in early childhood
when she stood up and set off walking
away from the arms that had carried her from room to room
giving views from on high as if from a mountain:
the apparitions of things, the furnishings, the tints of pictures
and the bedroom mirror they arrived in,
mother and a child, a holy image she met
again in churches and on altars everywhere
as if it were the purpose of the journey: More…

Bearded Madonna

Issue 4/1984 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems from Parrakas madonna (‘Bearded Madonna’, 1983). Introduction by Pertti Lassila

The first volume of poems by Eira Stenberg (born 1943) appeared in 1966; since then she has published both poems and children’s stories. In her most recent collection, she examines human relationships within the family, divorce, motherhood and childhood. Stenberg’s voice is clear and concrete. Her treatment of both mother and child is unsentimental, sometimes ironic; perceptively and far­sightedly she deals with the importance of childhood in the way it predestines the fate of the individual. No love or hate burns/ like that we receive as a gift from childhood, Stenberg writes in one of her poems. The home – protective, restrictive and punishing – is often the scene of her poems. The man, the father, is the butt of considerable irony and criticism, but Stenberg also destroys the myth of the madonna-like mother and the idyll of the home. More…