Poetry Depot

December 7, 2010

Johanna Venho, contemporary poetry from Finland

Filed under: Finland — Tags: , , , , , — razvan @ 6:11 pm

 

With a Italian introduction to her poetry http://www.larondine.fi/giornale/giano7.htm

With a Italian introduction to her poetry http://www.larondine.fi/giornale/giano7.htm

Born in 1971, Johanna Venho lives in Espoo, Finland. She studied comparative literature and biology at the Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä and graduated in Irish poetry from Helsinki. She has tried her hand at numerous occupations, among which was working as an editor in a broadcasting company, Yleisradio. A former editor-in-chief for Tuli&Savu poetry journal, she is now a full time writer. She has published four collections of poetry, five novels for children and a collection of nursery rhymes. She has won numerous prizes and grants, for example the Kritiikin kannukset Prize for the best literary debut of 2000, Arvid Lydecken Prize for the best children’s book of 2003, Katri Vala prize of 2006 for the collection Yhtä juhlaa and Einari Vuorela Poetry Prize for the best collection of poems of 2008 (for the book Yhtä juhlaa). from The Golden Boat

*
When we are on the edge of the incomprehensible
we don’t talk logically and our talk
is as clear as well water. Light mumbles, signals.
I tell him: in the moss you can
wander and dream, pop into a house
to grow old, become tender.
rope woven of black and of white,
how much can you carry without breaking your back?
Light wraps his arms around my neck,
his mouth is at my ear, the midsummer rose bursts
into blossom and there is mist in the meadow,
an old woman picks seven flowers,
to grow old and soft. Rope woven and garland woven
of black and of white, dance me, fly me, it’s soon over.
Light brings tears to my eyes, the flower revives
in the well water, the coldest, deepest: loveys,
children, just one moment more, give me a little push,
swing-out, swing-back, on the edge of the well,
wrap your arms around my neck.
(Translated by Johanna Venho & Kelly Lenox)

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