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Labelled with ICRA

Since 1979 logo

book cover

6 X 9 inches, 64 pages

ISBN 092125430X

Gathering Fragments

Pentti Saaritsa

Translated from Finnish by Seija Paddon

Scandinavian Literature in Translation

AT THE CENTRE of Pentti Saaritsa's poetry is the mysterious permanence of things, their enduring ... which, nevertheless, embraces an intense contradiction: to be here, to live a life, yet to let go of relationships, of places....

In these poems of everyday reality, familiar images are deftly drawn; as concrete links for abstract ideas, they provide a threshold for philosophical journeying. On this journey, readers are reminded of the courage it takes to comment simply on large issues. We are reminded that the world of miracles, faith and even legends has not vanished. Not that Pentti Saaritsa's poems inspire us to believe in reified stale images; rather, they evoke a multiplicity of meanings and compel us to interpret anew with every intermittent flex of our imaginations.

he forgot the long, peaceful 

tradition in breathing
as essential
as in the game of chess
the rule: moves are made
by turns

An Epitaph


Pentti Saaritsa


Pentti Saaritsa was born in Helsinki, Finland, in 1941. He studied literature and languages at the University of Helsinki and since 1967 has worked as a journalist and translator, especially of Latin American literatures. Having published more than fifteen volumes of poetry, two anthologies, a play and a libretto for an opera composed by Pehr-Hanrik Nordgren, he has also been awarded five Finnish State Literature prizes.


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.

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