Author: Satu Koskimies

In no-woman’s-land

Issue 1/2003 | Archives online, Authors, Reviews

Ten years ago, when Kaarina Valoaalto moved to the country, to the village of Toivakka in central Finland, I received a note from her:

‘350g of me has just moved, the other 99kg is still in the thick of things. The final truckload – the chickens, the ducks, the goats, the geese, the cat – is leaving tomorrow at six (a.m.) in special boxes carried by volunteers. The current has taken my heart and the rapids my brain….’

Kaarina Valoaalto embodies the myth of the poet’s ‘creative madness’ by writing the way she lives and by living the way she writes. In the fragment ‘Hometalo’ (‘The mouldy house’) from a collection of poems, Räppiä saarnaspöntöstä (‘Rap from the pulpit’, 1997) two sisters, Eine and Tyyne, move into the house of their dreams in the countryside only to be met by a sharp smell: mould. The reality in the heart of the country reveals itself to the newcomers in a tragicomic way. More…