Eeva Kilpi, “The Forest Is Joy”

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Metsä on iloa.
Siksi jätän teille kallioita, poikani,
ja metsää niiden ympärillä.
Kallioilta näkee Karjalaan
ja sinne, kuusenlatvojen taakse
voi kuvitella äidin lapsuuden
ja mummin ja vaarin lapsuuden
sinne voi kuvitella
myös teidän lastenlastenne lapsuuden,
se on luvallista
se on sallittua
se on mahdollista
“ei silmä ossaa ota”
ja vaikka ottaisikin
se olisi oikein.
Siellä ovät teidän vaarinne metsät
äitinne rannat
ja rantapolut
laitumet joilla hän paimensi lehmiä,
lähde jonne nappuri upotti mehupullot
ja ne säilyivät siellä yli talvisodan,
yli välirauhan ja uuden sodan.
Ja kun hän kolme vuotta myöhemmin
kesällä neljäkymmentäkaksi
palasi ja upotti kätensä lähteeseen
ne tervehtivät häntä ehjinä, sileinä, raikkaina
kuin kärsivällisesti odottaneet
piilotetut lapset.
Ja mehu oli hyvää.

The forest is joy.
I shall thus leave you the rocks and crags, my boys,
and the forest in their midst.
Karelia can be seen from the cliffs
and there, beyond the tops of the firs,
you can picture Mother’s childhood
and Grandma and Grandpa’s childhood.
You can picture
your grandchildren’s childhood as well.
It is legal,
it is permissible,
it is possible.
“It’s not the eye that takes part.”
Even if it did take,
it would be right.
Your grandpa’s forests are there,
your mother’s beaches,
the shoreline paths
where she herded cows to pasture,
and the spring where the neighbor submerged juice bottles.
They were preserved there over the Winter War,
over the truce and the new war.
When, three years later,
in the summer of forty-three,
he returned and plunged his hand into the spring,
they greeted him intact, smooth, and fresh,
like hidden children who had been waiting patiently.
The juice was good.

Source: Eeva Kilpi, Perhonen ylittää tien (WSOY, 2000), p. 451. Photo and translation by Living in FIN

Living Suitcase

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“In the manner of Arkady Rylov, Difficult Journey. Oil on Canvas. Pargas Local History Museum. [Vladimir Lenin] was one of the ‘living suitcases’ of Finnish smugglers. Lenin fled to Finland just before Christmas 1907 after an unsuccessful attempt to begin a revolution in Saint Petersburg. Before continuing to Sweden, he spent a couple of nights hiding in Parainen, in the Kirjala manor. He introduced himself as ‘Doktor Müller,’ a German geologist. The Pargas Local History Museum received this work for its Lenin memorial room in 1969 from the Finland-Soviet Peace and Friendship Society.” The painting is currently on view at the South Karelia Art Museum in Lappeenranta, Finland, as part of the exhibition Barefoot: 10 Lives in the Karelian Isthmus, which runs until January 2016. Photo by Comrade VZ. Quoted text, above, reproduced from the exhibition signage

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“V.I. Lenin spoke at a conference of Russian social democrats in this building in August 1907.” Kotka Concert Hall, August 2015. Photo by Comrade VZ
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“This building, designed by Eliel Saarinen, was completed in 1907. It was destroyed in a bombing raid on July 6, 1941, and rebuilt in 1954.” Kotka Concert Hall, August 2015. Photo by Comrade VZ
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Kotka Concert Hall. Image courtesy of Wikipedia