Translations of contemporary Finnish lyric poetry by Doug Robinson

In Finnish, to translate is to turn. Turnings are translations. But translations are then also turnings, as when you are looking someone you care for in the eye and then turn slightly, your gaze shifting to the right or the left, away. Turning is parting. To translate is to lose something, a connection — but it is also to open up new paths, new roads into vision.

These turnings are lyric poems by contemporary Finnish poets, men and women writing in the last three or four decades. Or rather, they were. They were Finnish poems until I turned them into English poems. The collection reflects this turn as well: the meandering pathways the poems pick their way down are by and large English, or perhaps American, taking shape and direction not from any existing Finnish collection but from the minddrifts of their translator. This is not a representative sampling of contemporary Finnish poetry. It is an inward journey.

Doug Robinson
Vaajakoski, Finland, and Oxford, Mississippi


Contents | Preface | Poems | Biographical Sketches

Last Modified: