vineri, 25 septembrie 2009



The waste land, fills always again with hopeful
wanderers, continents, countries whose wide
backs hunters walk along africas, europes,
asias, americas, walk in big boots
through a split earth, history, war,
peace, conflict and forest – first of all forest –
to bring to the city a torch that was burning
there once but was put out by mistake by
a somebody and at the same time the lights went out
from all the city windows because even violently
blowing out one faint light in is an unforgivable crime
which nobody should commit but he must
resist like a bird resists in the hands of the
hunter. The laws of nature are simple:
the path will be shown only to the one who wants
to find it, and nobody is forced to find the path:
how to come along? To shorten the steps, to walk
slowler, to pick beautiful flowers along the path,
and leave berries for others too?
Would this be a start for a slow integration of
continents, the disappearing of nationalities, to a boat that
floats blindly in everyday life and crushes a rock
like a country that it was searching for without
knowing, always without knowing, because
countries do not have borders, continents
do not have pre-ordered routes and birds not only one
correct migration route: that is why a human being
must also believe in her wings and to shorten his steps.
Speed is the only thing we grow up to, when one has to
reach 200 km with a car, and the circle goes on, continents
get harder and bottles are thrown to ditches in bigger and
quicker curves, and the place does not matter because this
happens in the streets of Lekki and Helsinki, nature
has no price, no speed limits, they have been
marked in the shelters for no use, and the wheels
of a motorcycle hammer speed to a grey morning that
runs gasoline to the wounds and they fester more
and the sick tissue increases and widens to the streets like
blue-green algae to the Baltic Sea and we get the boil
here too, gangrene, dead face, Chinese
migration worker in tight working conditions, passing
western cars, some little hint, loosened wings
of birds in the air, from which feathers hover one by one
quietly down to earth in a silence that is like
after a crash or the end of a long journey

(From Elämää Lagoksessa – ’Life in Lagos’)


Rita Dahl (born 1971) is a Finnish writer and freelance journalist. She was vice-president and chair of committee of women writers of Finnish PEN between 2006-2008. She holds masters´ degrees both in political science and comparative literature at the university of Helsinki. Her debut poetry collection, Kun luulet olevasi yksin, was published in 2004 (Loki-Kirjat), and since that she has published three other poetry collections: Aforismien aika (PoEsia 2007), Elämää Lagoksessa (ntamo 2008) and Topics from van Goghs´Ear (Ankkuri 2009). She has written also a travel book about Portugal, Tuhansien Portaiden lumo - kulttuurikierroksia Portugalissa (Avain 2007).

She was editor-in-chief of the poetry magazine Tuli & Savu in 2001 and also edited a cultural magazine Neliö (, which had a special issue on Portugal, for whose printform Dahl was responsible. Dahl has also edited a partly bi-lingual anthology of Central-Asian and international women writers called The Insatiable Furnace. Women Writers and Censorship – Kyltymätön uuni. Naiskirjailijat ja sensuuri (Like 2007). She coordinated a meeting for Central-Asian and international women writers, which was arranged simultaneously.

She is editing and translating an anthology of contemporary portuguese poetry into Finnish. Her book Life in Lagos (Elämää Lagoksessa) will be published in Russian in Kazakhstan by Iskender in 2009. In 2010 she is publishing a portrait about Finnish poet Jyrki Pellinen (PoEsia).

Dahl has participated in several international literary festivals, conferences and seminars, most notably in international women writers´ meeting in Bishkek (2005), in Days and Nights of Literature in Romania (2005), in meeting arranged by Fenno-Ugrian Writers´ Union in Hanti-Mansinsk, Siberia and Petroskoi, Carelia (2005, 2006), in Book and Art -festival in Nigerian Lagos (2006), in Encontro Internacional de Poetas -festivaalilla (2007), in Arab-Scandinavian Female Poets´ Colloquim arranged by Swedish Institute in Alexandria, Egypt (2008) in annual meetings of International PEN in Dakar, Senegal and Bogotá, Colombia (2007, 2008).

Dahl´s singular poems have been translated into English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Icelandic, Arabic, Romanian, Estonian. Her poems have been published in numerous international literary anthologies and poetry reviews around the world, e.g. in The Calque (USA), Ice-Floe (Alaska), Períplo (Mexico), Confraria do Vento (Brazil), The Guardian (Nigeria), Knigoylub (Kazakhstan), Looming (Estonia), Nuestra Voz (International PEN), Shearsman (UK), Revista Prometheus (Argentina).

In 2009 Dahl was chosen as a stipendiate of literature by Finnish Cultural Foundation to the castle of Schloss-Wiepersdorf in Germany.

Forthcoming books by her are a collection of articles of at young age died legendary Finnish visual artists, young contemporary poets and foreign writers (Kesuura) and a fact book/pamphlet about Finlandised freedom of speech (Multikustannus).

Niciun comentariu:

Trimiteți un comentariu