Annukka Peura (b. 1968) first collection of poems, Kaaoksen matkustaja (The Traveller to Chaos) was awarded the J. H. Erkko Prize for the best collection in 1989. Her second work of poetry, Erotus (Difference) came out six years later in 1995 and won the Kalevi Jäntti Prize. Peura studies memory and the relationships between experience and language: when did word become separated from things and feelings? Peura’s profusely associating poems reach out beyond language, but the structure of language and poetry still holds the poems on this side.
A flower opens, its face turned to the light, whiter than the light.
everything around it disappears, the streets, the trees. All has been written.
It has been written, every thousand years the shrubs will bloom with fiery tongues.
And the flower’s name is Dolores and she is beauty and she is pain.
And the flower’s name is Dolores.
She is the knight of roses
and the hidalgo of hyacinths:
she, today, is immortal…
She won’t die today,
for a moment, a hand has undressed her face from despair.
And the wound that bleeds bleed inward, sleeps.
and all that is.
Dolores in the rosetree
Dolores in birdsong
Dolores in the hollow of a shoulder
Dolores in the mouth of a kiss
From deep down she arrives in herself.
On her eyelids small star-fish still tremble.
Her sun is large and her pupil small.
Her sun colors her hair’s perihelion.
Her garments undulate on her body’s golden dunes.
Embraced as a torso, hair on both sides of her neck
she is she is she is
These are: evenings in which the passers-by’s shadows still linger.
Fragrances that fold their petals under the rain.
On their level center, bony and serious, a small death.
And a small d.
She stands alone on the shore of a thought.
Around her eyes black circles spread.
Pensando en la muerte.
12.From Erotus (Difference), 1995. Translated from the Finnish by Anselm Hollo.
You have to be a sun or else nothing, says Dolores.
- Confessions [1-12]
- Confessions [13-24]
- On the shore
- A Propos Cavafy