Author: Vesa Mauriala

Poetry for a new age?

Issue 4/2001 | Archives online, Authors, Reviews

The brilliant colours and new free verse of the poetry of Katri Vala (1901-1944) inspired her contemporaries in the 1920s, but also divided them – into those for whom Vala’s romantic exoticism brought to mind the movies of Rudolph Valentino and those who were enchanted by the freedom of her imagination. ‘Wild and full-blooded and primitively lovely’, Katri Vala was to die of consumption at the tragically early age of 42. Vesa Mauriala introduces her work

Like many Finnish beginner poets, Katri Vala published her first works in the children’s magazine Pääskynen (‘The swallow’), and later in Nuori Voima (‘Young power’), a publication intended for schoolchildren. Around this latter, originally didactic, magazine, there subsequently grew up the Young Power League, and in the mid-1920s this in turn gave birth to a group called the Torch-Bearers, which first published intensely personal nature poetry but later began to import European influences into Finnish literature. More…