Screenshot from Timo Harju's Voi minun ystavaniI can’t read Finnish, so I don’t know what the letters spell, but I quite enjoy watching them tickling their author’s body as he leaps out of the sauna in Timo Harju’s Voi minun yst?§v?§ni, which is presented alongside the work of another Finnish author, Saija Sofia. Perhaps the running man being blanketed in letters is not a self-portrait? It appears that the latest issue of the literary journal Lumoja is about digital poetry, and has a web section, which makes me wish I could understand even just a tiny Finnish. (Via afsnitP)

11 thoughts on “finnish digital poetry

  1. Mum

    Since you bring up Finnish culture, saunas and all that, has anyone else any info on Finnish ‘silence’? I’d never heard of this before as being a feature of the Finns, but I was recently at a Leadership Workshop where part of the training in listening skills involved learning to be comfortable with silences. The only other female participant was a British born child of a Finnish and a Hungarian parent. Oh, I’ve grown up with long silences she told us. They’re quite normal in Finnish social interactions & cause absolutely no discomfort. Is the culture of silence reflected in liturature from Finnland? How do writers reflect sllence anyway? Anyone know anything about this? Is it even true?

  2. Lars

    It certainly seems to be a feature of the Finns — I speak only a little Finnish, but I am fortunate enough to live in a city that was practically founded by Finnish immigrants (a few generations ago, they made up more than half of the population), and their culture has put its mark on this place.
    If you’re able to read Norwegian or Swedish, the novel “Popul?§rmusik fr?•n Vittula” contains some amusing insights into the culture of silence (in the far north, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish culture tend to mix and merge). Another example might be the character “Snusmumrikken” in Tove Jansons children’s books. In film, Aki Kaurism?§ki has used this a lot, my personal favorite is “Mannen uten minne”.
    Of the poems, I could only understand “Min?§ rakastan sinua” – Finnish for “I love you”. Notice how the long words make speaking a very deliberate thing.

  3. Diana

    I live in Finland and the silence thing is true, although not terribly noticeable to foreign observers – it’s mainly something that happens between Finns in private. It’s not abnormal for people to enter homes, offices and other spaces without greeting each other for example, or for a couple to spend an entire dinner in silence.

    The Timo Harju thing is actually “voi minun yst?§v?§ni” – “oh, my friend.” Without the t it makes no sense.

  4. francis s.

    Diana – where have you been? Still in Finland, I see, but I mean in the blogosphere…

  5. Jill

    Interesting about Finnish silence. And thanks, Diana, for the t, which I’ve added, and the translation. That’s a help in understanding. A little.

  6. tomi

    hei, and thanks for the finnish site is was very intresting! And thanks for the lecture this morning in academy. Being finnish I can in a sense relate to the silence, I guess it´s more a thing about the lack of small talk in finnish. But it´s not really different from Norway.. well Silence is beatiful.

  7. Marko Niemi

    Hi Jill!

    I’m gladly surprised to find that our site has been noticed even abroad. Lumooja’s latest issue was on motion (the title of the web exhibition could be translated as ‘Charming Motion’), and included e.g. an article about moving poetry by Teemu Ikonen which can be found from the web section too.

    Here’s a quickly made English translation of Timo Harju’s poem ‘Voi minun yst?§v?§ni’:

    Oh my friends, you are campfires
    I roast words in you like sausages
    you are campfires, and with you I am too

    Yours kindly,

  8. Jill

    Oh, thank you Marko! Lovely to have a translation! I’d love to learn more about Finnish net literature…

  9. Pauliina

    Here’s another Finn commenting on Finns and silece. Some of the things said here seem to me a bit mystifying. To demystify if I can: in situations where people feel at ease, maybe know each other or otherwise connect, silences can be a part of being together. I don’t think they result from lack of small talk, because they mostly occur in situations where small talk is out of place. There’s another kind of silence too: in, say, a university cafeteria, you sit opposite someone and the only thing you say is “can I sit here?” That is if you don’t know the other person. Or in a party: someone sits next to you, maybe tells you their name and you tell them yours, and then you sit quietly – the reason again not knowing each other. But it is not, I think, a lack of small talk or rituals such as introducing yourself.

  10. Alex

    hei, I am desperately looking for a Finnish Valentine’s day shaped love poems – any ideas?

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

  11. Lello Masucci

    I call Lello Masucci and are an Italian digital poet, been born and resident to Naples. I have created the Internet site: to which artists, experts are participating and students of the field between which Italian several university professors of university. We will have the economic aid of the Forum of the Cultures, than one will hold to Naples in 2013. For that given I would want to carry the epoetry, the more important event than digital poetry to the world, to Naples.
    I have had already several adhesions between which Caterina Davinio the more important Italian digital artist, Giovanna Di Rosario Universit‡ of Barcelona, Celestino Soddu of the Polytechnic of Milan, Frank Mario Academy Fine Arts of Naples, and others. I am organizing the official presentation of the site and the program to it connected near the Museum Mother of Naples.
    If you can disseminate this initiative is pleasing.

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