the Kalevala was Re: reviews (but not of MC)

Belben, Philip ( Generation ) Philip.Belben at
Fri Dec 12 11:07:12 EST 2003


> I _did_ read the whole Kalevala in an incredibly irritating
> translation -- it's all in the meter familiar to folk of
> the USofA as that used by Longfellow in _Hiawatha_.

That's the metre of the original.  Longfellow got the idea from a German
translation of the Kalevala.  The metre works well in Finnish, I
understand, but Longfellow couldn't get it to work in English...

> ['This is the forest primeval, the murmuring pine and the hemlock']

Ugh!  That doesn't remotely fit that metre.

> I know there are more recent translations, because
> I bought one, but I haven't read it.  In fact, the state of

I borrowed one from the library.  All in lines of an odd number of
syllables.  Although the translator hadn't aimed for any particular
shape of feet, I kept falling into trochaic tetrameter as I read it, and
then finding I was missing a syllable at the end of the line.  Most

Can't remember who the translator was, but I do remember his five-line
summary of the plot from the introduction:

The Sampo gets forged, a rogue screws,
There's a murder, a wedding, the Blues,
   A serf bites the dust,
   The Sampo gets bust,
And Finland receives the Good News.

> I read _The Eight Days of Luke_ and discovered that
> my paperback didn't have the helpful explanatory
> notes at the end.

Nor does my hardback!  Can you elaborate on this?


___________________________ Disclaimer Notice __________________________
This message and any attachments are confidential and should only be read
by those to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact us, delete the message from your computer and destroy any copies. Any distribution or copying without our prior permission is
Internet communications are not always secure and therefore the Powergen 
Group does not accept legal responsibility for this message. The recipient is responsible for verifying its authenticity before acting on the 
contents. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author 
and do not necessarily represent those of the Powergen Group. 

Registered addresses:
East Midlands Electricity Distribution plc,
Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry, CV4 8LG
Registered in England & Wales No. 2366923.

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list