Author: Matti Saurama

Life beyond poetry

Issue 3/2003 | Archives online, Authors, Reviews

A young lyricist wearing the mantle of a poet is a familiar sight. There is a need to be different, and a need to be the same. With two volumes of poetry behind him, there is something fundamentally poetly about Joni Pyysalo (born 1974); a poetic and sensitive soul, slightly dandyish, wearing a suit. Any roughness, any pig-headed machismo, any traces of the dry, cheerless face of an intellectual are absent.

In his first collection of poetry, Jätän tämän pimeän kalustamatta (‘I’ll leave this darkness unfurnished’, WSOY 2001) Pyysalo writes that his ‘feet are light’. Levity can be a virtue just as much as profundity. It shines through his work, in the way he asks ‘where have I left my sorrows?’. This young poet does not actively seek out extreme experiences; unlike Finnish training athletes – as it were – he does not ski across swamps in the summer or run through snowdrifts in the winter. More…