Edward's Reviews > The Kalevala

The Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot
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it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, translated, denmark-norway-sweden-finland, own, 5-star

Finnish Pronunciation
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--The Kalevala

Appendix: Sibelius and the 'Kalevala'
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 9, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
August 9, 2015 – Shelved
August 9, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry
August 9, 2015 – Shelved as: translated
August 17, 2015 – Shelved as: denmark-norway-sweden-finland
November 26, 2015 – Shelved as: own
August 4, 2019 – Shelved as: 5-star

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Edward "I have a good mind
take into my head
to start off singing
begin reciting
reeling off a tale of kin
and singing a tale of kind.
The words unfreeze in my mouth
and the phrases are tumbling
upon my tongue they scramble
along my teeth they scatter.
Brother dear, little brother
fair one who grew up with me
start off now singing with me
begin reciting with me
since we have got together
since we have come from two ways!
We seldom get together
and meet each other
on these poor borders
the luckless lands of the North.
Let's strike hand to hand
fingers into finger-gaps
that we may sing some good things
set some of the best things forth
for those darling ones to hear
for those with a mind to know
among the youngsters rising
among the people growing---
those words we have got
tales we have kindled
from old Väinämöinen's belt
up from Ilmarinen's forge
from the tip of Farmind's brand
from the path of Joukahainen's bow
from the North's furthest fields, from
the heaths of Kalevala.

My father used to sing them
as he cut an axe handle;
my mother taught them
turning her distaff
and I a child on the floor
fidgeting before her knee
a milk-bearded scamp
a curd-mouthed toddler.
The Sampo did not lack words
nor did Louhi spells:
the Sampo grew old with words
and Louhi was lost with spells
and with tales Vipunen died
and Lemminkäinen with games.
There are yet other words too
and mysteries learned---
snatched from the roadside
plucked from the heather
torn from the brushwood
tugged from the saplings
rubbed from a grass-head
ripped from a footpath
as I went herding
as a child in the pastures
on the honey-sweet hummocks
on the golden knolls
following black Buttercup
beside Bouncy the brindled.
The cold told a tale to me
the rain suggested poems:
another tale the winds brought
the sea's billows drove;
the birds added words
the treetops phrases.
I wound them into a ball
and arranged them in a coil
slipped the ball into my sled
and the coil into my sledge;
I took it home in the sled
in the sledge towards the kiln
put it up in the shed loft
in a little copper box.

Long my tale's been in the cold
for ages has lain hidden:
shall I take the tales out of the cold
scoop the songs out of the frost
bring my little box indoors
the casket to the seat end
under the famous roof beam
under the fair roof
shall I open the word-chest
and unlock the box of tales
unwind the top of the ball
untie the knot of the coil?
I will sing quite a good tale
quite a fair one I'll beat out
after some rye bread
and some barley beer.
If beer is not brought
and ale not offered
I'll sing from a leaner mouth
after water I will lilt
to cheer this evening of ours
to honour the famous day
or to amuse the morrow
and to start the new morning."

message 2: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl Kennedy Just listened to a few Songs of the Kalevala on YouTube. Thanks for intro to a Finland cultural treasure.

Edward I hadn't thought of doing that. Thanks, Cheryl, I'll have a look.

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