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Translation of: Kubisseja

Rakel Liehu
Translated from the Finnish by Seija Paddon

6 X 9 inches, 62 pages

Scandinavian Literature in Translation

RAKEL LIEHU CREDITS A CUBIST PAINTING for the title and stylistics of Cubisms, the eighth of her twelve volumes of poetry. In her own words, "The discovery of the painted images being at once both fragmented and coherent connected me with the fact that I felt the need to treat basic myths architecturally and by allusion. I wish to remain far apart from deceptive rationalism. The poem is a place for exaggeration and play and for skirting the boundaries of reality."

Liehu has also said: "In my poetry I have always aimed at visions more than close viewings of things. Hence the titles can also be seen as thematic keys which are cubistically scattered and fit many poems."

Chalice into fragments
the sea's braids of light

In blue

blue tree
is tearing itself from
its invisible womb
into view

—from dead leaves


Seija Paddon


Seija Paddon was born in Tampere, Finland. She received her Ph.D. in English literature at York University in Toronto and is currently living in Keswick, Ontario. She is the translator of two novels and four collections of poetry. She has taught at Concordia in Montreal and Centennial College in Toronto as well as at the University of Helsinki in Finland. You can find her regular reviews of current Finnish literature in the journal World Literature Today.


Rakel Liehu


Rakel Liehu was born in 1939 in Nivala, Finland, the daughter of a Lutheran minister. Helsinki, however, has been her actual and emotional home for most of her life. She studied Finnish language and history, subsequently lecturing in both fields. But writing has an unrivaled hold on her; aside from many collections of poetry, she has written two plays and been a newspaper columnist with a focus on cultural matters. She is also an accomplished translator of German and Swedish poetry.

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