Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Tuesday Intros and Teaser Tuesday - 'The Old Kalevala' by Elias Lönnrot

The Kalevala: Or Poems of the Kaleva DistrictToday I'm sharing a book with you which I have wanted to read for ages! It's a text which was an inspiration for one of my favourite authors and it's also a major score on my mythology-meter! What am I talking about? The Finish Old Kalevala!
The national folk epic of Finland is here presented in an English translation that is both scholarly and eminently readable. To avoid the imprecision and metrical monotony of earlier verse translations, Magoun has used prose, printed line for line as in the original so that repetitions, parallelisms, and variations are readily apparent. The lyrical passages and poetic images, the wry humor, the tall-tale extravagance, and the homely realism of the Kalevala come through with extraordinary effectiveness.
Doesn't this sound amazing? The Kalevala is a really interesting text and I can't wait to dig into it more! Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and Teaser Tuesdays is hosted over at A Daily Rhythm.

'It is my desire, it is my wish,my desire to recite, to get ready to sing.
Beloved friend, boon companion, fair comrade in speech! Rarely do we get together, get to talkingon these wretched marches, poor northern parts.Now put hand in hand, clasp one in the other so that we may sing fine songs, five voice to the best things for those dear ones to hear, those desiring to know them among the rising generation, among the people which is growing up,those songs got from, those as inspired by old Väinämöinen's belt, the depths of Ilmarinen forge,the point of the sword of the man with a far-roving mind, by the range of Joukahainen's bow,from the remote corners of North Farm's fields, from the heaths of the Kaleva District.' p.1
I realize this is a really long beginning but I simply really like this beginning. On the one hand there is the traditional calling for inspiration to sing and recite but on the other hand I feel like there is a strong emphasis on communion and culture.

'"What then may be the state of mind of others, the state of mind of other brides? Thus is the state of mind of the lucky: like a spring sunrise. Mine is the state of mind of a wretched one: like that of a horse that is up for sale or a mare that is to be traded or a stallion that is to be bought.Thus is my state of mind: that of a wretched one, like a gloomy autumn night,a dark winter's day."' p.81
Again, a bit of a long teaser but just look at it! There is repetition, there is beautiful poetry and there are stunning similes! 


  1. Interesting read this week. Not sure how much gets lost in translation though.

  2. Nice tease! Not sure I understood it...but hope you're loving it!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  3. The Kalevala! I got around to reading it a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I hope you enjoy it, it's epic and fantastic and pretty hilarious at times too =)

  4. That's a beautiful beginning. I know nothing about this but I like it.

  5. Juli, I have never head of this one, and I am not sure it's for me. But hoping you love it.