tiistai 26. heinäkuuta 2016


(I translate very freely:)

Left behind is youth - like a flowing river.
Already grey threads - sets life's golden handiwork.
I reach for the present moment -
life's joy does not come from pleasant company or wine.

Left behind in time - my strenght's proud days.
The love of my spirit - in ancient times.
I rose from the pit. - I doubt I can fall again?
The wish of all: painless moments.

We know: peace in the grave is allowed us.
Seeker does not find comforting rest,
cool wind speaks, sun is obstructed from sight by storm,
a red line is left: a forceless longing for beauty.

Drown in the sea - my dreams' hills in flower.
I am a poor man: expensive are the costs of songs.
I gave my all, I had the forces to be active - for a while,
the loves f my dreams I paid by my mind's sorrow.

I am exhausted - oh, to the roots of my heart!
Was I given too much - life's load?
Or am I one of those wo have the will but not strenght?
My victory - empty, the results of my work - my conscience finds fault in them.

So in the end - were without a good reason born, difficulties,
broken chains - burned, loved ships?
Now already did I fall - when my all was needed?
I was solidified to ice - when my wound got a scar?

Hopeless fight - against heaven's powers!
Kannel sings - song does not comfort it's child.
Frost night speaks - tune sings - with collapsing wings.
To the peace of my pit - like a dying beast I sneak.

Eino Leino   ( My nonliteral translation)

This poem is a favourite of the elderly and they copy a lot from it, I think, since in Finnish it is very impressive, song like. I added the "-" lines to make it more understandable. I did not like the fact that while reaching for secrecy it mixes the skills brought by experience with things going poorly It is fact that most people have great potential and sometimes hardships make a break in the habits and give us a rise toward higher talent if just the advices are right. But on the other hand it aren't good to give an impression that great skill due to experience and reaching for good quality, would somehow usually connect to great misfortune. I guess that some of the typical errors of the lderly come from this poem, so I replaced "In vain, in vain, I grasp the moment" by "I reach for the present moment" which is a cure and not the problem like the first one: one should not let good years pass one by without living them.

lauantai 23. heinäkuuta 2016

Lappland's summer

Lappland's summer

In Lappland all gets into flower soon,
the earth, grass, wheat, also the Lapplandish dwarf trees.
That I have been thinking about often
when I have looked to the past fates of this people.

Why among us all beautiful tends to die
and great deteriorate to not worthy?
Why do we have so many out of their mind?
Why so few who play a musical instrument?

Why men here everywhere fall like grass, -
men, of hope really,
men of ideals, men of feelings,
all get to be earth or stop in the midle of action?

In other countries gray haired spark fire,
in the elderly shines the sun of spirit.
Among us already kids are alike elderly men
and a young man is already ready for grav.

And what about me? Why do I ponder about these things?
It is a mark of having early grown old.
Why am I not following the command of blood's instinct,
but sigh about the fates of peoples?

There is only one answer: Lappland's summer.
In thinking of it one gets melancholic.
Short is Lappland's birdsong, fun
and the flourishing of flowers and other joys.

But long is the might of winter.
Just a moment rest ideals here like from flight,
when they again begin a sunny journey
and already leave the icy Lappland.

Oh, white birds, you guests of Lappland's summer,
you great ideals, I greet you!
Oh, stay here, make a nest here,
even if you move to the southern lands!

Oh, learn from the swans!
They leave in the autumns, return in the springs.
On our shores it is peaceful
and safe the side of Lappland's hills.

Sound of your wings whle you fly through the air!
Do deeds, lighten lands!
But when you see that winter has gone from here,
I pray, I ask: please return!

Eino Leino  (My traslation)

(I live in Savo,originally from Helsinki and haven't been to Lappland, I am just a Finn and I was translating Eino Leino's poems at large, not in connection with Lappland, even though this poems is famous just in connection with Lappland.
I have also written about the seasons in Savo and the capital area, see http://finnishskills.blogspot.fi/2014/11/living-with-seasons.html , to which I needed some poems...)

tiistai 5. heinäkuuta 2016

Some poems

Night song

Say, when breaks the morning
when I can wake up lightly?
Say, when lowers the evening,
when I can gladly fall?

Say, do you know when will come
Christmas and candles?
Say, when will disappear the ghosts
which walk behind me?

Don't fear! I am not crying.
I haven't been crying for years.
But for years I have slept
and believed in dreams.

And if one sleeping dream failed me,
I believed in a new one;
but the most beautiful dream of beautiful dreams
were you, girl - and my last.

I thought that you were the morning,
when I could wake up easily,
i believed you were the evening
when I could fall asleep gladly.

I dreamed my Christmas had come
with Christman trees and candles,
I thought ghosts had vanished
and gone the forest nights.

I already thought I was a human being,
not forever a dreamer,
I already thought I was happy -
not just a poet of happiness.

See, a human has joys and sorrows
and human feels and lives.
But a singer wanders and listens
and in his ears music sings.

And the music sings, sings days
and nights, he hears it from a distance, so far away.
And a singer wanders and listens
and he hears and - sings.

Eino Leino  (My translation)

If I would comment to the poem: it sounds clishee like but is somehow better, more profound. Instead of just clishes it mentions feelings which make the experience of life deeper and healthier. While touching misery it finds a solution that usually works: dreaming. From that the poet continues to making dreams real at the level of life in the practise: "you, girl" and with dedication. But he knows that supposing something isn't the same as things being so, so his views stay on a solid ground. And while in some foreign lands peope would have emphasized art, he emphasizes life and a human being, so practical and healthy, with many kinds of feelings and multitude of things in days, that it sings in itself. And as the culmination of such wisdom of life a sense of music born of how the world sings, how the wisest choises sing in some profound deeply touching natural music of life, and so he lives naturally and expresses his life as a song too - which need not be of a certain form, it can be a description of how he came to write poems.

* * *

When I remember -

When i remember how many evenings
I have sat alone, alone,
and watched the stars of the sky,
which glimmer side by side,
so my girl,
my girl, oh,
close to you I need to come
and look at you long, so long.

When I remember how many travels
I have wandered in the forests,
I have sat under thick needle trees
and sat without joys,
oh my girl,
so my girl,
I need to kiss you long
and cry, cry quietly.

 When I remember how many thoughts
I have trhought evil there,
which we could have avoided together
and won by cooperation,
so my girl,
oh, my girl,
you need to love me a lot
and love long, oh long.

Eino Leino  (My translation)

* * *

Which one is more beautiful

Whih one is more beautiful:
believe that freedom comes,
hope that light wins,
and fight for light, -
or fight
knowing that light does not win,
knowing that freedom does not win,
and still fight.

Which one is more beautiful:
to think: if freedom does not win,
to ponder: if light does not come to rule,
why do I fight then?
Or to think:
I am a child of sunset, not of sunrise,
I am a man of light, if not of victory,
that's why I need to break.

Eino Leino  (My translation)

My comment: Things are called good because they are good for some purpose, for example for making life better. Also wisdom is typically called good. So light isn't on the way to disappearing from the world. Quite contrary: as technology develops, it gets more complex and demands better thinking ability. Likewise globalization encourages to think of the wide world and avoid the error of tunnel-sightedness which is a typical reason for evil. About my objective views on the role of moral and feelings and ages old healthy natural ways of living in the tough modern world, please see my book http://www.angelfire.com/planet/paradisewins/2013paradise.rtf  . 

tiistai 14. kesäkuuta 2016

My view on poems and about translating them

In Finnish:
tiistai 31. toukokuuta 2016 Pikakoulu-blogissani Tunnelmatajusta
"Tunnelma on jotakin sellaista kuin nähdyn ja koetun maiseman rakenne, josta kuvastuu se, miten tuossa maisemassa eletään, mikä sen dynamiikka on, mitkä sen tärkeimmät ilmiöt. Nämä ovat jotakin sellaista huomiontekoa kuin runoja lukiessa, että onko joku runoilija kirjoittanut "asfaltin raosta kasvaa voikukka" ja toinen, että "asfaltin raoista kasvaa heinää", että mitkä ovat nuo tärkeimmät ilmiöt noissa havainnoissa ja mitä eroa sillä on, kummin on: että luonto valtaa alaa ja tekee ympäristöstä viihtyisämpää ja tervehenkisempää, on molemmissa, samoin se, että asfaltti halkeilee usein reunamilta, mutta voikukka on kukka ja rikkaruoho ja aika tallaamista kestävä, kun taas heinä on syrjemmällä kasvaa, hiljaisen tunnelmallista eikä kestä tallaamista. Kanssa jos tulen liikkumasta, niin liikkeeni ovat hulppeat, liikkumiseen ja fyysisestä rasituksesta palautumiseen sovitetut, mikä näkyy sekä elekieleni tunnelmassa että jos jätän tavaroita huiskin haiskin lojumaan, niin tuossa jäljessä, ympäristöni ulkonäössä, ja siinä on se hyvä puoli, että niitä katsellen ja mukaan lähtein saa liikkumisen vireestä paremmin kiinni. Kun taas jos joku haluaa salata, mitä tekee, niin tulee siinä rajoittaneeksi tekemisentapaansa ja siität ulee hänelle huono lyttyyn laitettu olo eikä hän saa tekemisten vireestä kiinni niin hyvin, mutta toisaalta jos joku on mielellään siisti ja laittaa kotia kivaksi asua, niin eihän se hänelle tuo lyttyyn laitettua oloa, vaikka kadottaakin edellisten hetkien tunnelman jäljet asuinympäristössä. Tunnelmatajulle ovats iis tärkeitä selkeään hahmotetut arkiset asiat, jotka tunnistaa hyvin ja varmasti, kun taas tunnelman hahmottumattomat piirteet eivät tuo muuta tietoa kuin, että oli siinä jotakin hahmottumatonta vielä lisäksi, lieneekö ollut mielikuvitusta tai näyteltyä, ei tekemisen perustaksi sopivaa.

(Runojen lukemista olen parhaiten oppinut Bashon ronukirjoita, joissa on romaanimaisen tekstin välissä runoja samoista aiheista. Sen jälkeen on ollut kiva jatkaa muihin suomenkielisiin runoihin, mutta ekalla kerralla luin siinä välissä vanhojen kiinalaisten runojen suomennoksia. Myös, jos joskus on kadottanut otteen siitä, miten runoja luetaan niin, että niistä saa paljon irti, ja runot ovat vaikuttaneet pelkältä sanahelinältä, niin Bashon kirjojen lukeminen on nopeasti tuonut takaisin mielekkyyden runoihin. Samalta suunnalta ovat toki romaanit. Mielestäni elämänlaatua on parantanut paljon, kun on samoina aikoina sekä harrastanut liikuntaa että runoja ja käynyt joskus luontoretkellä ja ollut kiinnostunut kä'ytännön elämästä sekä maailman parantamisesta. En tiedä, liittyykö se tähän mutta samoihin aikoihin tapasin kuunnella radiota, lähinnä poppia ja rokkia. Mielestäni jokaisen runoilijen runoja täytyy lukea eri tavalla: eri etäisyyden päästä, eri näkövinkkelistä, eri elämänalueita painottaen jne.)

The best fact language is like music http://musicalfactlanguage.blogspot.fi/ "  
"olen kirjoittanut blogitekstiä vuodenajoista ja se
on pitkä ja kesän kohdalla on Eino Leinon runojen lukeminen
vaikuttanut yhdeltä kesää tuovalta asialta mainita, mutta olen
olettanut, etteivät kaikki mene kirjastoon kumminkaan, niin lainasin
blogiin muutamaa Eino Leinon kuuluisaa runoa."
"Minulla on samasta blogista englanninkielinen versio ja siinä käännös
tuosta vuodenaikakirjoituksestani. Niinpä eilisiltana käänsin nuo Eino
Leinon runotkin, mutta sanatarkan käännöksen sijaan henkeen ja
ymmärrettävyyteen satsaten."
"Jotenkin jäi hyvä mieli tuosta kääntämisestä, vaikken parhaimmillani
ollutkaan. Jäi pyörimään mielessäni, että saako Eino Leinon runoja
kääntää enemmänkin, vaikkapa blogiksi, silleen kuin hyvältä tuntuu ja
kommunikoisi suomalaisuutta? Kääntäisin suunnillen oikeana
vuodenaikana kumminkin.
Yst. terv. Hannele Tervola, pääkaupunkiseudulta Savonlinnaan puolen
tusinaa vuotta sitten muuttanut runojen ystävä ja kirjoittaja

sunnuntai 12. kesäkuuta 2016

About the possibilities of going to the nature

Finland is sparcely populated and there are lots of forests which one can visit. And since we live in the north and the cool and cold weathers prevent dangerous animals from living here, and since the wolves and bears have been hunted to a small population, visiting forests is safe. In other countires it is not the same in most, since there is more population, less nature, more dangerous animals and no custom of everybody visiting a forest. But if you are intriguided by the idea of the beauty and peace of nature, it would be good to find a way to enjoy them at least somewhat. Gardens, trees, parks, meadows, sea and shores, even flowers on the window offer a touch with the nature. So do scenic spots, views out of a bus window where there is green, farming and nature reserves. In a way it does not matter how big spot of nature you have, you could even enjoy trying an insect's or bird's view of the near environment which is often beautiful and magnifient. On the other hand, the more the environment allows you to drown into enjoying the nature, without sight of build things or human foot-print spoiled things, the more profound your experience of peace, harmony, health and fracturelessness is, the more profound your touch with the ages old healthy natural ways of living on all areas of life, the more refreshing your experience is, the more it gives energy and serves as a holiday.
Another question is safety. Generally there are three types of safe places: ones with so many people that it has been taken care that there is safe, ones with nobody and no dangerous animals either and thirdly places which do not tend to have any danger. Parks have lotrs of people, but odd times may be dangerous Places where people live but where there are trees, for example on the sides of the roads and yards, may have atranquil atmosphere, one of nature's peace and harmony some time (in the summer time?) when it is daytime but a quiet moment or a few quiet moments. Some scenic routes offer harmony and beauty even if there go cars by quite often, if just the views are with a fascination: there a tiny flower by the roadside, there the shelter of trees, there a view over the shore to a lake, there a bench with a view, shelter and a comfortable atrmosphere. One can also visit forest patches that are not so much wandered on, if one goes to different places, in different times, often with company and a car of one's own. By the sides of garden area's roads there is often tall grass with flowers, butterflies etc, a world of it's own, very summer like, kind of an ideal of love. And even in the winter time there is the weather, the feeling of the elements with trees living their ages old way of life.

* * *
5. of July 2016
From th text about the seasons http://finnishskills.blogspot.fi/2014/11/living-with-seasons.html
"The beauty of nature is partly a question of a way of looking. One should be interested in the multitude and richness of forms and colours, of the atmosphere of plants' growth whne looked among other things along the way they have grown, the magnifient moments of bird's flight, treen looked from near, the nature from the point of view of an insect or bird where even a small branch or grass can be biggest factors of the living environment, the atmosphere of the time of tha day with it's birdsong, light coming through the leaves to a mist, how one always finds new variations slightly different details full of feeling and atmospheric for example in pine's surface and it's thick branches, in the beauty of a forest lanscape viá trees, the different atmosphere of each type of lants etc."

Also safety when one happens to meet people in lonely places is important. One question in it is paying attention to other people's sense of space: what is their home, what near environment, which are the common roads for all to travel, do they enjoy solitude or want to exchange a couple of words about the beauty of nature, etc. Another point in that is allowing people socially room to live in: http://healthilymoral.blogspot.fi/2016/06/finding-safety.html plus links from there.

* * *
13. of July 2017   About wandering in the nature without getting lost
If one is fascinated by the beauty of nature and looks around a lot and remembers what the individual trees, rocks etc are like one isn't likely to get lost. But one must look a lot at landscapes and pay attention to landforms like where is hig and where low and wher forest, a road, strand etc as one big landscape like map like view where one can notice how a path goes from one place to another. Often there are many paths, not in sight from further away. So one needs to pay attention to the landscape one wanders in and not just to the path. Unite these landscapes in your mind to one single map like view of the district that you have travelled through. See where compared to big landmarks you are at each moment. Even a short walk can be very beautiful and rewarding. Lake shores are often the most beautiful but also often full of cottages, so that one cannot travel along them.In Finland one is allowed to wander in forests but not to go near houses, so cottages have to be avoided whne wandering in the nature.

Eino Leino's poems

 Here a quotation from my blog text about the seasons in Finland, with Eino Leino's poems quoted in it, http://finnishskills.blogspot.fi/2014/11/living-with-seasons.html .

"I have used to think that poet Eino Leino's day is 6th of June (and not of July) and that has been good so, when the greater art's civiliced wisdom conquers book knowledge from school, work and studies, so one does not get squeezed but is left with enough room for life. Eino Leino's poems are beautiful nature, love and the laws governing life poems, old, touching, among the most famous in Finland.

"The Song of the Sage Väinämöinen

There aren't many joys given to a human child:
One the joy of spring
and another of summer
and third of high, clear autumn's joy.
Plough, saw,
rest at last in peace from labour.

There aren't many sorrows given to a human child:
One a sorrow of one's heart,
another worry of living,
and third of high, strict death's sorrow.
A friend betrays,
life leaves you,
magic is hero's only work and enthusiasm.

Why would sing I, to whom kantele was given,
other joys
and other sorrows?
I cannot count the stars of the sky,
neither the fishes of the sea,
not the flowers of the grasses.
So I sing of what a human is given to sing about.

Men should not sing knowledge, skills,
not bring forth them.
A hero is allowed
to sing only, how years change and weeks,
how sparks get lighted
and dimmen away again
and how goes the law of death and life.

All else is just glimmering of the sky,
splash of the waves.
A hero ought to sing like the sea,
as great, holy,
something to be afraid of,
tender like the resting night over the lands.

There are many songs, also many men of songs.
There is one song
above the others:
humans' ideal's, spirit's strict song.
Peoples disappear,
what does not disappear
is the might sung by a great one knowing the soul of one's people."

Eino Leino (My translation)

"Grave song

Restless is the river and waves roll,
sea alone is great and sea lovely.
Sleep river in the arms of the sea.

Wind wanders and leaf flies.
Happy the one who was in time in a valley.
Sleep leaf in the arms of the valley.

When the day rises, the star fades away.
One does not fade away for forever, the one who left from life.
Sleep star in the arms of the day."

Eino leino (My translation)

"I wander the paths of the forest

I wander the paths of the forest
on a summer evening thinking deeply by myself
and my chest enlargens of joy
and I sing, just sing.

There in the lush woods under a hill
it was strange a moment ago
so slight, wonderful
under the green leaves of trees.

I, a man, only know it,
only me and somebody else
and the lush wood's loving bird
and a tree in flower spreading it's scent."

Eino Leino (My translation)


Dark wheat bird's song in my ears,
above the wheat seeds full moon;
summer nights happiness is mine,
to a mist dresses themselves the valleys.
I am not joyful, I am not sad or sighing;
but bring to me forest's dark colours,
the red of the clouds to which day vanishes,
faraway sight of a windy hill that sleeps,
the scent of tiny pink flowers and the shadows of lakes;
of these I weave my heart's song.

To you I sing miss, summer grass,
my heart's great silence,
my religion, sing as melodies,
an oak leaves head decoration lush, new.
I am no longer tracing vanishing fake lights,
in my hand happiness's gold,
life's sphere around me gets smaller;
time stops, wind indicator sleeps;
in my front a twilighty road
leads to an unfamiliar cottage."

Eino Leino (My translation)

"When my woman left

I did not get, my dear woman,
any other souvenir from you,
than only your foot print left on my home shore -
took the waves that too from me already."

Eino Leino  (My translation)

If one knows how to stay warm, knows the Finnish seasons and the Finnish wilderness, the old Finnish paintings in Ateneum Art Museum are a fine experience."

About this blog

Eino Leino's poems are among the most famous in Finland. Here are my own translations of them from Finnish language to English.

If you don't know how to read poems or have lost touch with how to read them so that they touch you and make lots of sense, try reading old Japanese book by Basho, who wrote long stories with short poems in between about the same subjects just handled in the story. I learned reading poems from them. In the first time I after them read Finnish translations of old Chinese poems and continued to ordinary Finnish language poems.