Author: Sirkka Turkka

Hamlet in blue velvet

22 January 2010 | Fiction, poetry

Physical, mythical, sensual, playful: Sirkka Turkka’s poems, never abstract, speak of life, death, dogs, horses, nature and humans. In her universe the humorous and the grave socialise without effort. These texts, in prose form, with Hamlet as one of the characters, are often set in a wintry landscape (see Nature girl)

Poems from Yö aukeaa kuin vilja (‘The night opens like corn’, Tammi, 1978)

Of his early childhood, Hamlet really only remembered his father’s slightly crooked and gnarled index finger, pointing at the lowest branch of a holly oak. A small owl sat on it. It can’t see anything, it’s asleep now. It won’t fly off until night. These were the only words Hamlet remembered his father saying to him during the first six years of his life. Later, all he saw of his father was his back, bent over in study of agricultural conditions in a village called Jawohl or of waterside traffic on the river Vistula at the turn of a particular century. When it came to governmental matters, the king placed his trust chiefly in his unconscious and in wheat bread, thick white slices of which he devoured from the moment he awoke. More…

Goodbye darling

30 March 2005 | Fiction, poetry

Poems from Niin kovaa se tuuli löi (‘So bitterly the wind struck’, Tammi, 2004)

Lord, you've promised to come, don't hang back.
     Here we are already, sitting, me and the dogs,
   and the others that have to go.

Jesus, poor thing, didn't know whom to bloom for,
  just kept on lugging his cross, pretty as a pony.
    He came and shot us down,
   bullets flying without his even noticing.
      The night was gifted with roses
        full of love.
 Through a woman we came here, through a man
    we leave.


The house of the rising sun

Issue 2/1998 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems from Nousevan auringon talo (The house of the rising sun’, Tammi, 1997). Introduction by Jyrki Kiiskinen

Closeness. License to kill. And to go on living
         becomes impossible.
 When you see a waterfowl’s eyes, if you see them
         in the dark, that is the right distance.

Now the fire power of our forces consists of infantry arms.
         You are hard ammo exercises, controlled
 regression, kiss of a porcupine, flower
                   from the great gardener's garden, who
                          shall be killed nevertheless.
         The one who in every piss-stained jail cell tries
                   to inch his own death forward a little.
*  More...

Poems, poèmes

Issue 2/1987 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems from Mies joka rakasti vaimoaan liikaa (‘The man who loved his wife too much’, 1979 and Vaikka on kesä (‘Although it’s summer’, 1983).  Interview by Markku Huotari

Look at this epitaph with whiskers.
Threw herself so gladly into my troubles, sometimes she seemed to be bearing, properly, my burdens.
A dog called Julia. Combining
July and Yuletide.
Often thought of putting her down, so she wouldn’t need to die.
Smash her skull or break her neck
with my own hands, to stop her mourning her premature death.
Which still seems to be delaying.
She puts her four paws gently down, one at a time. So the Lord won’t hear her still about
and whisk her away.
Two years ago, she steps on some glass, her toe sticks out, a tendon’s cut.
She looks at me. Believe it or not,
I’m grieved by little Julia’s lot: for a second
I think the blood’s dripping from my own heart. More…


Issue 2/1982 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Sirkka Turkka is among the most important poets who started their work in the 1970s. So far she has published five collections of poetry and one work in prose. ‘I speak of death when I mean to speak of life,’ writes Sirkka Turkka in one of the poems in her collection Mies joka rakasti vaimoaan liikaa (‘The man who loved his wife too much’, 1979). The theme of death is close at hand, too, in the previously unpublished poems printed below. Introduction by Arto Kytöhonka

Before death itself comes
it paints the pine boles red
around this house
It erects a moon in the sky, a luminous moon,
set on edge like an old dish
with the light enamel peeling off.
Onto this house, over which
night is now pleating.
And the house, in the veering waters, in the clinging waters,
is slowly preparing itself, quite by itself, for death. More…