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Labelled with ICRA

Since 1979 logo

book cover

6 X 9 inches, 144 pages

ISBN 0948259086

Room Without Walls

Selected Poems

Bo Carpelen

Translated from the Swedish by Anne Born
Illustrated by Hannu Taina

Scandinavian Literature in Translation

WHAT'S SPECIAL about this book of poetry? Bo Carpelan is the most important Finnish poet using the Swedish language as a medium. It is the first book-length edition of his poetry in English. It is sensitively illustrated by one of Finland's leading artists, Hannu Taina. And the translator, Anne Born is herself a respected poet and has lectured in Nordic languages at Oxford and Cambridge.

It isn't time that changes us,
it's space; the forest low as a dark ribbon
round the evening when we were children.
And the water that reached our feet.

It's the road that's straightened out,
the same trees, houses, people
looking out of the windows
that are windows in space, not in time.

Room for children, room for the lovers
where birds fly in and out,
room for the one who sleeps so light
not even death's breath is heard.

The furniture in the room's the same,
the same branches in front of it
asi if the room were your gaze—
that never ends.

In Dark Rooms / In Light Rooms (1976)


Bo Carpelen


Bo Carpelan is one of the leading Finnish poets writing in Finland-Swedish. Born in 1926, he is the son of a bank clerk. His first book of poems appeared in 1946 and he received his doctorate in 1960. Since then he has written 14 volumes of verse and is also a novelist, playwright, essayist and critic.

He also writes for children. His works have been translated into Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, German, English, Polish, Slovak and French, but this is the first full book-length edition of Carpelan's poetry in English. Among other distinctions, in 1980 he was awarded a five-year professorship by the Finnish State Committee for Literature.


Anne Born


Anne Born is well known as a fine translator, writer and poet. She received her M.A. in English language and literature at the University of Copenhagen and B. Litt at Oxford. Her sensitive rendering of Carpelan's poems have been published previously in magazines and reviews.


Hannu Taina

Illustrator, Cover Art

Hannu Taina is a well known and distinguished Finnish artist.

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