Author: Helena Sinervo

A greater solitude

30 December 2004 | Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel Runoilijan talossa (‘In the house of the poet’, Tammi, 2004)

Images of love

The double door to the patio is tightly swollen into the framework, so tight I’m chary of using force to prize it open. The windows might break. The lower part remains stuck, as if screwed to a carpenter’s bench, while the upper part gapes – leans out as if longing to liberate itself from its lintel. That’s an image of love: one part longs to be free, the other part holds on fast. I get a toolbox from the cleaning cupboard and try to hammer a chisel into the space between the bottom edge and the threshold. I succeed, but the chisel marks the door, defacing it. That’s an image of love too. More…

Hay-smelling heart

Issue 3/2001 | Archives online, Authors, Reviews

In Eva-Stina Byggmästar’s poetry, everything is different, She writes highly original poetry whose harmony, breathing rhythm and naïvist imagery, rooted in the rural environment and nature, lodge in the mind immediately at first reading.

Byggmästar (born 1967) published her first collection I glasskärvornas rike (‘In the kingdom of glass-splinters’) at the age of nineteen, in 1986; her best-known works are För upp en svan (‘Put to flight a swan’, 1992), Framåt i blått (‘Forward in blue’, 1994) and Bo under ko (‘Live under co’’, 1997; Söderströms), known as the Joy trilogy. She has received a number of prizes in both Finland and Sweden, and a long-awaited translation of her selected poetry is to appear in Finnish in 2002.

Her eighth collection of poetry, Den harhjärtade människan (‘Hare-heart’, 2001), marks a distinct change of tone compared to the Joy trilogy. The speaker of the poems, a childish joker and cultivator of language, wanders through a subterranean forest of tears grieving over what is lost. Finally she withdraws from human company into the midst of nature and allows her wounded heart to change into a hare. More…

Happy elegy

Issue 3/2000 | Archives online, Authors, Reviews

‘It hurts me to look / When nothing comes back to me.’ So goes the first poem in Kirsti Simonsuuri’s Rakkaus tuli kun lähdin maan ääriin (‘Love came when I left for the ends of the earth’). The persona asks us to look at a cloud lingering in the blond sky, ‘head wrapped in white’ and fading away. The lines forecast the thematic atmosphere of the whole: a happy elegy on the transitoriness of passing moments, people, places, times and love. In the cosmos of the poems everything flows, and the flow is never the same. But it is just this that creates the durable, the movement of continual metamorphosis. More…