Paavo Haavikko





Translations of contemporary Finnish lyric poetry by Doug Robinson

Biographical Sketches

(under construction)

IngerMari Aikio (b. 1961) is a Sami ("Lapp") poet who has translated her own poems from Sami into Finnish, from which the poems that appear here have in turn been translated, all from her collection Gollebiekkat almmi dievva (1989), which appeared in Finnish as Taivas täynnä kultaisia tuulia ("The Sky Full of Golden Winds," 1992). Born in the village of Polmak in northern Finland, she studied at the University of Oulu and is now a broadcast journalist with Sami Radio in Inari, Finland.

Paavo Haavikko (b. 1931), one of Finland's most versatile modernists, served for two decades as literary director of Otava Publishing House. Best known as a poet, Haavikko has also written plays and screenplays, short stories, novels, essays, aphorisms, and an opera libretto. His work is steeped in Finnish and European history and mythology. Born and raised in Helsinki, he continues to make his home there, where he founded his own publishing house after leaving Otava. The bulk of his poems appearing here are from his early collection Puut, kaikki heidän vihreytensä ("Trees, All Their Greenness," 1966).

Jukka Kemppinen
Rakel Liehu

EevaLiisa Manner (b. 1921), one of Finland's most passionate and intellectual poets, has also written novels, plays, radio plays, and translations (Shakespeare, Hermann Hesse, Yasunari Kawabata, others). Born in Helsinki, she spent most of her childhood in Viipuri, and has since lived in Tampere and Churriana, Spain. She worked as a clerk in insurance and publishing firms before retiring (1946) to write fulltime. The poems that appear here are taken from her collections Fahrenheit 121 (1968) and Kuolleet vedet (1977).

Aila Meriluoto (Portaat, Ruusujen sota)
Hannu Mäkelä
Mirkka Rekola

Matti Rossi (b. ?) is a leftist poet who has played an active role in Finnish workingclass politics, and his poems and translations (especially from the Spanish, but he has also translated Shakespeare, most notably King Lear) often reflect his overriding concern with peace, justice, and equality. All of the poems appearing here are from his collection Näytelmän henkilöt ("Dramatis Personae," 1966).

Pentti Saarikoski (19371983), one of the first great modernist writers in Finland, was known for his cultural radicalism in the sixties (he twice ran for Parliament on the Finnish People's Democratic Party ticket, and remained an ardent Communist all his life), the surrealistic playfulness and melancholy of his poems, and the Poundian daring of his translations (Homer's Odyssey, Heraclitus, Sappho, Aristotle's Poetics, Catullus, Matthew's Gospel, Joyce's Dubliners and Ulysses, Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Salinger's Catcher in the Rye in Helsinki slang, etc.). In addition to numerous poetry collections he wrote experimental novels, essays, and other works. Born in Impilahti, Karelia, he studied classics and English at the University of Helsinki in the late fifties, and lived in Helsinki until 1975, when he moved to a farm near Gothenburg, Sweden, where he lived till he died. The poems that appear here are taken from his collections Tanssilattia vuorella ("Dance Floor on the Mountain," 1977) and Tanssiinkutsu ("Invitation to the Dance," 1980).

Sirkka Turkka (Tule)


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