Tua Forsström is a visionary Finland-Swedish poet who has become Finland’s most celebrated contemporary poet. Her poetry draws its sonorous and plangent music from the landscapes of Finland, seeking harmony between the troubled human heart and the threatened natural world.
One Evening in October I Rowed Out on the Lake is her first new collection since her celebrated trilogy, I studied once at a wonderful faculty, published by Bloodaxe in 2006. As Sweden’s August Prize jury commented, this is poetry ‘both melancholy and impassioned’, expressing a ‘struggle against meaninglessness, disintegration, destruction – against death in life’.
‘This book-length poem by the celebrated Finnish-Swedish poet evokes a wintry landscape where we follow “one another’s tracks through the heart the snow”. A parallel text allows Anglophone readers to follow Forsström’s light-footed, melancholic free verse in the original, guided by David McDuff’s delicate translation.’ – Jeremy Noel-Tod, Sunday Times
‘…One Evening in October I Rowed Out on the Lake is a sequence that may be read as one silence-punctuated extended poem. Water, fishes, stars, glitter, dust, rain, wolves, hares: these are among the leitmotifs, and have literal and metaphorical resonance. The natural world intersects at every turn with the moral world, and is intrinsic to Forsström’s love poems and elegies.’ – Carol Rumens, online Poem of the Week, Guardian
Tua Forsström: I studied once at a wonderful faculty
Tua Forsström reads and introduces a selection of poems from her trilogy I studied once at a wonderful faculty, either in Swedish with English subtitles or reading the English translations. Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed her at her home in Helsinki in August 2009. This film is from the DVD-anthology In Person: World Poets, filmed & edited by Pamela Robertson-Pearce and Neil Astley (2017).
Bilingual Swedish–English edition