KALEVALA - Finnish National Epic

 

     The first edition of the Kalevala appeared in 1835, edited and compiled by Elias Lönnrot on the basis of the epic folk poems he had collected in Finland and Karelia.

    This poetic song tradition, sung in an unusual, archaic trochaic tetrametre, had been part of the oral tradition among speakers of Balto-Finnic Languages for two thousand years.

   The main character in epic poems is usually a mighty singer, shaman and sorcerer, the spiritual leader of his clan who makes journeys to the land of the dead to seek knowledge.  The songs’ heroes also have adventures in distant lands.

    This English translation of the 1849 Kalevala by W.F.Kirby first appeared in 1907.  This edition was published in 1985 by The Athlone Press, London & Dover, N.H.

   More info:    Finnish Literature Society   < www.finlit.fi/kalevala >                  

This series of paintings is based on these poems.

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