Praise and Poems
The poetry of Eeva-Liisa Manner is remarkable in its precision and force. It seems to occur at a sub-atomic level, where experience is borderless and change continuous while surfaces remain clear and still. The disturbance and containment she observes is so essential as to be universal and yet the world of her poems is emphatically that of Finland: its space and silence and light.
This is an arresting collection of poems by the Finnish writer Eeva-Liisa Manner (1921-1995), selected and translated by Emily Jeremiah. Manner’s work is spare yet shimmering; it evokes mystery and obscurity by clear and precise means. It is often unnerving – restless, questioning – but also exquisite. Manner’s imagery is startlingly fresh and lovely, and her vision is subtly compelling. Three of the translations published here have appeared previously, in Modern Poetry in Translation. One was jointly awarded third prize in the 2008 The Times Stephen Spender poetry translation competition, with Jeremiah’s interpretation being described as ‘delicate’. Such delicacy characterises this important volume.