Sunday, October 22, 2006


After the graduation, I have to fight my emptyness. So I will keep writing. Today, I will write on a beloved story that has inspired my new graduation play quite strongly. Here is a painting Lemminkäisen äiti (Lemminkäinen's Mother) by famous Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela dating back to 1897. On it, one can see Lemminkäinen, a young and handsome hero. His mother, äiti, has had to travel all the way to Tuonela, the land of the dead, to fetch the body of her son from the river Tuoni. Young Lemm has actually been choped into pieces. With the great strength and effort, the mother manages to put the body of her son together. Finally, she brings Lemm back to life!

The motive of Lemminkäinen's mother is probably the most famous motive from the Finnish national lay Kalevala. Click the title to check out the exact rune in English. Lemm's restoration reveals a rebirth of the dead one. The rebirth done through a non-selfish sacrifice of the loving Other; the mother in Lemm's case. Great story, full of hope. The healing power of pure love, no matter how sweet and romantic this seems.

Some time ago a friend very dear to me has given me a postcard. It is clear enough the photo you can observe here is a remake of Gallen-Kallela's Lemminkäisen äiti. Also something this photo-remake has brought to my mind. Once I have got this idea and so I have written a poem in Finnish. Uusi Lemminkäinen (New Lemminkäinen). The theme of the photo as it would resemble my poem just perfectly. When I was given the card I was quite excited. I told to Kalle about the poem, yet I have never given it out to read. So here it is now. I guess I will not be given any other opportunities to publish my poetry in Finnish here in my own country, right? Though I might translate it one day.

The poem has been written on a very early stage of my Finnish lessons. That was also the time I was deeply in writing my new play. Anyway, I hope there is not like lots of mistakes in the text. For all of the readers that do not understand Finnish - well, this is how suomi looks like in a longer poem-wannabe, hehe. And yes, Lemm's story here is told more bitterly as in the great Kalevala original. Now just figure it out...


Musta joki virtaa keskellä mustaa maata.
Kauan kävelin mustan joen rannalle.
Tiedätkö, musta joki, ketä etsin tätä,
Näitkö hänet keskellä mustaa maata.
’’Kyllä, vieras, tunnen ketä etsit tätä,
Näin hänet keskellä mustaa maata.
Kauan katsoi hän mustalle rannalle,
Ei nähnyt hän käärmettä keskellä vettä.
Hyppäsi se iso käärme mustasta vedestä.
Mene, vieras, olet tässä turhaan; hän ei enää elä.’’
Kiitos, musta joki, kiitos vastauksesta.
Voisitko antaa kuolleen rummiin minulle.
’’Kyllä, vieras, ota hänet, ota kylmän rummiinsa.’’
Niin nousee kuollut rummiinsa mustasta vedestä,
Niin on hänen kuolleensa mustalla rannalla.
Kauan katson häntä; hän on kuin kylmä kivi;
Kauan rakastin sitä kylmää kiviä
Elä, rakas kuolleeni, mustassa vedessä!
Menen mielelläni mustasta maasta,
Kuolleeni vielä elää keskellä mustaa jokia.

1 comment:

kaneli said...

''Na drugem svetu je Manala. Ampak jo najdem.''

''Toisessa mailmassa on Manala. Kuitenkin löydän sen.''

Dane Zajc (1929 - 2005)