Born 11 September, 1924, in Sääminki,
died 17 June, 1966 in Savonlinna.
Several collections of poems, novels,
short stories, radio plays. Numerous
new impressions of all works.
'During the days when I do not write, I do about the same things
as during the days when I do: I eat, sleep, and so forth.
However, I eat a lot more and there seems to be no end of need of
sleep. But when I write I sleep little. The desire to write comes
like an illness, which is impossible to cure in any other way than
going through it. When I am through it, I decide that it was the
last time. I even destroy all traces of it and feel glum.
A clear sign of getting better is the rising drive to clean up the
house and do the laundry. I perform a real ritual of cleaning, as
if I were driving evil spirits out of the house . . . I get enthusiastic
about all sorts of things, I make plans about studying, I feel a
fraction repentant that I have not studied plants or birds more
seriously. That task I have reserved for my old age, when I have
decided not to write. In the same way I dream about tilling the
land, about agriculture, which I find the noblest of human
occupations. The truth is and will be, however, that I get tired of
digging the tiny flower beds around my summer cottage, because
conscience beckons me to go back to writing.
When I write, I am perhaps like a wood grouse at mating time.
When I do not even think of writing, I am like a honey-pawed
bear that sniffs and tastes the lovely smells and berries of the
forest in order to return to its cave having eaten its food
reserves Life is indeed a great thing, when I do not write and
when I am curious like children, to all directions!'
(Excerpted from an article published in the weekly Suomen
Kuvalehti, no. 45, in 1953.)