Come into the story

I’m on the way home from Gdańsk, from the choral festival which my choir achieved silver in the equal-voice category yesterday – we are thrilled.

For the competition we had to sing two songs in our own language and two in a foreign language – except me. I didn’t sing in my native language at all, because my choir is Finnish.

The judges came from all over Europe, though, so our conductor asked me if I could organise translations of the songs so they knew what we were singing about. I found all of them, but one.

It’s a poem by Sirkka Turkka. She has been translated into English by Seija Paddon, and despite trying to contact her, I couldn’t find this poem in translation.

So here’s mine.

It was wonderful to sing to Jukka Linkola’s music – the music moves from dissonance to harmony, uncertainty to peace, as the poem does.

You can find the sheet music here. In Finnish only, for now; setting the text to the music is a whole separate challenge for another time.

An only child whose father was a military man, Sirkka Turkka grew up around animals more than around people, and had her own way of looking at things from a very young age. Which makes reading her all the more interesting… For more of her poems in English translation, try this collection, The Sound of Strength.

And the storybook house so green in the photo is from the Długi Targ (Long Market) in Gdańsk old town – it wasn’t in the forest, but it was waiting for us when we got there.

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Posted in international, music, poetry, translation

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