Kalevala, by Elias Lönnrot


When the ninth year had passed over,

And the summer tenth was passing,

From the sea her head she lifted,

And her forehead she uplifted,

And she then began Creation,

And she brought the world to order,

On the open ocean’s surface,

On the far extending waters.

Wheresoe’er her hand she pointed,

There she formed the jutting headlands;

Wheresoe’er her feet she rested,

There she formed the caves for fishes;

When she dived beneath the water,

There she formed the depths of ocean ;

When towards the land she turned her,

There the level shores extended,

Where her feet to land extended,

Spots were formed for salmon-netting;

Where her head the land touched lightly,

There the curving bays extended.

Further from the land she floated,

And abode in open water,

And created rocks in ocean,

And the reefs that eyes behold not,

Where the ships are often shattered,

And the sailors’ lives are ended.


Compiled by Elias Lönnrot. Trans. W.F Kirby



The Kalevala or The Kalewala (/ˌkɑːləˈvɑːlə/;[1] Finnish: [ˈkɑle̞ʋɑlɑ]) is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology.

It is regarded as the national epic of Karelia and Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature. The Kalevala played an instrumental role in the development of the Finnish national identity, the intensification of Finland’s language strife and the growing sense of nationality that ultimately led to Finland’s independence from Russia in 1917. More…

Image: Aino-Triptych by Akseli Gallen-Kallela

PicMonkey Collage


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