, one of Finland's (and Europe's) foremost poets, died
earlier this week. As well as poetry
, his seventy or so published works included essays, novels, plays for the stage, radio & TV, and opera libretti
Unfortunately there is not a whole lot of Haavikko's poetry in English on-line. Besides the page of translations by Richard Sieburth linked above, there are a few snippets here
and a few more translations here [.doc]
. Haavikko's was a memorably aphoristic style, informed by a sceptical, pessimistic outlook:
'Every house has many builders, and is never finished.'
'Real delicacies are raw: oysters, salmon, and power.'
'When the tyrant is young. Everyone waits / for him to come to his senses. / Old. For him to die.'
'Don’t reminisce, / the dead / reminisce about the dead: / the flowers of Autumn, / snow-chilled, / about the flowers of Spring.'
'This is a world that will, in any case, be destroyed at some time. / Working for its destruction seems pointless. / It is impossible to save. Between these two facts, life must be lived...'
'In this cruel world it’s useless even to beg / not to be born again.'