His works

narri   narri   narri
A tenant here

selected poems, 1977-1997

narri  narri

Translation: Herbert Lomas
Publisher: The Dedalus Press
Edition: Poetry Europe series ; No. 7
Published: 1999
Pages: 120
ISBN: 1901233472

The poet François Villon...

The poet François Villon had good reason
for dodging death. It turned up
and took his literary remains,
his body too, and his soul,
if it did ind the soul's living quarters.

It happen to mention a dead man
(one who lived like a fool) -
and soon there he is, sitting opposite,
looking like himself, with hios own eyes and hair,
and talking bald thruth with his bony tongue.

You don't live un vain if you leave
a pot on paper, a name in history.
All those traitors and killers -
and not a word reamins,
even in the court records.

Hello, directors, tyrants,
hypocritical sermonizers and other rogues:
see how the poets avenge fearing for their lives
and their dear liberty
through giving things their proper names.

Poets are: you can't make them
disappear even by forgetting them.

(from collection: Viisikymmentäkaksi / Fifty-two, 1979)


Star, in a swarm of electric lights,
I haven't deserved this brilliance.

Shine on though.

(from collection: Savun hajua / A Scent of Smoke, 1987)


I can bear the gray days all right. The sky's
lowering - that I know from old; and, yes,
the trek to hose I love streches as far as Oceania,
the starlit domes, the rainbow's end, youth;
but, like stripping a coat from one dying of old,
or depriving a drowning man of a life-raft,
the insomniacs have been robbed
of the magic key to the gloomy castle
whose turrets let you see the whole globe,
though it's dark and our planet's swimming
in cries of pain. A long, long timo a ago
a cool hand fell on my brow. Someone said. "Sleep!"
There was someone.

(from collection: Älä pelkää / Don't be afraid, 1997)


A man's no European unless
he winds a tie around his neck
every morning. This morning,
European as I am, my mirror
told me that ineluctably
day by day more and more
I look like a sad bulldog.

Who's ever seen a smiling bulldog?
We know we're born into
the wrong universe, to battle.
My bloodshot eyes are showing
I want to wallow the straw
with my very enemy the bull
and ponder the stars.

(from collection: Älä pelkää / Don't be afraid, 1997)