Aleksis Kivi Poems, Although Aleksis Kivi is generally regarded as the national writer of Finland he lived a short and unhappy life in the late 19th century. He wrote a significant number of plays and pieces of verse but his major life project was a novel called Seven Brothers which took him ten years to complete.
It was an unsympathetic, uncompromising view of rural Finland and did not receive particularly good reviews. It was the first novel that had ever been written in the Finnish language. His literary output ensured that he is still regarded as one of the greatest Finnish writers ever.
Aleksis Kivi Bio
He was born Alexis Stenvall on the 10th October 1834 in a small village in the southern part of Finland called Palojoki, in Nurmijärvi. His father was a tailor and had built the house in which his family lived in the very centre of the village. Aleksis also had to share his home with three other siblings and occasionally the tailor’s apprentices engaged by his father.
There was a travelling school that Aleksis was able to attend and it was soon apparent that he had a talent for literary pursuits. At the age of twelve he was sent to school in Helsinki and from there to the city’s university. He studied the theatre here and wrote plays of his own but he was unable to buckle down to enough serious study in order to complete a degree qualification.
The hostile reaction is some quarters to his work drove Kivi deeper into depression and schizophrenia. His physical health deteriorated as well, not helped by excessive drinking, and he died in poverty on the 31st December 1872. He was aged just 38.
Aleksis Kivi Poems
My Heart’s Song
Absalon, my son, that I could have died for you, my son.
Life holds no pleasure, let me descent to hell, weeping
Grove of Tuoni, grove of evening,
There a sandy cradle is waiting,
There I will carry my child.
There the child is free from sorrow
In the wood, in the meadow
Tending the cattle of Tuoni.
There my child is free from sorrow
When the evening casts it’s shadow
Rocked in the cradle of Tuoni.
There my child is free from sorrow,
Lulled to sleep by a birdsong mellow,
Rocked in a cradle of gold.
Peace of Tuoni, far from passion
Far away from man’s oppression
Far from the treacherous world.