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Missussa on halu / There is a desire in me

Fresh poetry written in Finnish, with an English translation, from Rita Dahl

Missussa On Halu / There is a Desire In me

Rita Dahl


Minussa on halu

Minussa on halu yöttömiin öihin, päivään
joka korkealle nousee, moniin aurinkoihin, samanaikaisesti
kohoaviin, minussa on halu sateeseen, hunnun lailla
alas putoavaan. Minussa on halu, mutta
ei tahtoa, yksinkertaisia työkaluja käytän, taltan ja vasaran
ääntä pimeimmässä yössä. Kuin hakkaamalla
tavoittelisi jotakin, tummaan seinään laskeutuvaa
yötä, riimukirjaimia, nimeä kenties.



There is a desire in me

There is a desire in me for nights without night, dawn
breaking, many suns simultaneously
rising, there is a desire for rain, falling
like a veil. There is a desire in me, but
no will, I use simple tools, a voice of hammer and
chisel in the darkest night. As if by hammering
I might try achieving something, a night descending on a dark
wall, runes, a name perhaps.







Rita Dahl is a Finnish writer and freelance journalist. She was vice-president and chair of committee of women writers of Finnish PEN between 2006-2009. She holds advanced degrees both in political science and comparative literature from the university of Helsinki. Her debut poetry collection, Kun luulet olevasi yksin, was published in 2004 (Loki-Kirjat), and since that she has published three other poetry collections: Aforismien aika (PoEsia 2007), Elämää Lagoksessa (ntamo 2008) and Topics from van Goghs´Ear (Ankkuri 2009). She has written also a travel book about Portugal, Tuhansien Portaiden lumo - kulttuurikierroksia Portugalissa (Avain 2007). In 2009 she published Picturemakers, a collection of articles of at young age died legendary Finnish visual artists, young contemporary poets and foreign writers (Kesuura) and a fact book/pamphlet about Finlandized freedom of speech (Multikustannus) around the world, e.g. in Russia, China, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and Finland.

She was editor-in-chief of the poetry magazine Tuli & Savu in 2001 and also edited a cultural magazine Neliö (, which had a special issue on Portugal, for whose printform Dahl was responsible. Dahl has also edited a partly bilingual anthology of Central-Asian and international women writers called The Insatiable Furnace. Women Writers and Censorship – Kyltymätön uuni. Naiskirjailijat ja sensuuri (Like 2007). She coordinated a meeting for Central-Asian and international women writers, which was arranged simultaneously. She has also coordinated correspondence between Finnish and African and edited an anthology Minttutoffeen onni – The Pleasures of Peppermint (Palladium 2012) based on that correspondence.

She is currently editing and translating an anthology of contemporary portuguese poetry into Finnish. Her translation of avantgarde Portuguese poet Alberto Pimenta was published in September 2009. Her own poetry collection Life in Lagos (Elämää Lagoksessa) was published in Russian in Kazakhstan by Iskender in 2009. Dahl has also translated young American poets like Tao Lin, Eric Baus, Dorothea Lasky, CA Conrad, among others, into Finnish.