Kavi wrote:Just briefly to mention, I actually enjoyed your translation, Cancer!
That's very nice to hear, thank you!
Kavi wrote:I have not learned to use rhyming in my works and because of that I have always seemed to despise the use of rhymes. Until now, as I think rhymes and meter can work if text is written before hand, for example for music.
I used to think that Finnish in itself comes badly along with rhymes - and with other poetic tropes borrowed from Germanic and Romance languages when "literary poetry" began to be written in Finland. I still find Finnish-language sonnets, for example, kind of strange, a clumsy imitation - trying to force this stupid, barely-literary peasant-language into tightly regulated forms of European high culture. We have had a unified system for writing for a little over a hundred years, a "literature" for about as long; it's no wonder that the real European languages often seem to have better manners than ours!
The forms that I found "natural" for Finnish were alliteration and the 50's and 60's Modernists' "blank" way of writing, that does often make use of non-strict meter but otherwise strives for "clarity", "exactness" of an "image" etc. - the ideals, basically, that were formulated by Pound and others in English a bit earlier. Thinking back, the naivety of my semi-conscious theory is obvious. I had simply taken the forms I was most familiar with (my study of poetry began with Pentti Saarikoski, Paavo Haavikko, and Eeeva-Liisa Manner, three great Modernists of the Finnish canon, the first of whom is still the archetypical "boys' poet" here), or else had been taught were somehow irreversibly more original to Finnish than any others (the Kalevala
, which I still haven't really read, is an alliterative poem), and made them the only appropriate ones. The poetry of the early 20th century, when rhyming in Finnish was truly made an art, somehow didn't resonate with me, and still doesn't, fully; it puzzles me. I have long been thinking that I should take the time to really submerge myself in people like Otto Manninen and L. Onerva. Certainly the translations of classics from this period are much better than most newer ones.
And to finally say something about rhyming itself... It's a risky device to use, because it intensifies
poetry, riles it into extremities, so that a stupid rhymed poem sounds awfully stupid while a poem that pulls it off right can haunt us for the rest of our lives. Which brings to mind another memory pertaining to my thoughts above: the first
poem I remember consciously enjoying was a rhymed poem - in English. I remember copying it into a notebook while very bored in class in the ninth grade, and shivering just from the succession of muted sounds. And I still recite this poem, "Alone" by Edgar Allan Poe (which I'd come across on Arcturus' magnificent album La Masquerade Infernale
), by myself like a little hubris-ridden prayer. That English established itself for me so early as a language of rhymed poetry can maybe also serve to explain my confusion about rhymes in Finnish.
It's strange, by the way, how rhyming is considered totally passé in literary poetry, while it can still be "cutting edge" in rap music, for example. Do you people have any ideas as to why this is?
Kavi wrote:Have you any good tips in order to become a better writer?
There is a lovely scene in Leena Krohn's novella Erehdys
("The Mistake") in which the protagonist, a frustrated older writer, is being forced to answer annoying questions from the audience at a book fair or something like that. Finally a mother, who tells her daughter dreams of becoming a writer, asks him how she could help her... And the first thing that pops into the man's head is: "You could die! That's what you could do!"
Art is in some secret and joyful way connected with not giving a fuck anymore.
Tiden läker inga sår.