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The Kalevala – The Epic Finnish Saga

The Kalevala is truly a gem of Finnish culture, folklore and literature which is one I have been fascinated with for years. It is also perhaps the most famous and republished piece of literature to come out of Finland. The Kalevala is a collection of tales from the creation of the world, stories of Finnish gods and goddesses as well as other figures of the folklore of Finland. I wanted to contribute by sharing this utterly amazing Finnish literature with my readers and explore deeper into its importance and tales. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The first edition of the Kalevala came out in 1835. Elias Lönnrot compiled it from folk poetry recorded into notebooks during his collection trips among poetry singers in 1828–1834. At the time of publication of the Kalevala, Finland was an autonomous grand duchy, and before that, until 1809, Finland was part of the Swedish Kingdom. Especially for Finnish intellectuals, the Kalevala became a symbol of the Finnish past, the Finnish language and Finnish culture, a foundation on which they started to build the fragile Finnish identity. It also aroused much interest abroad, and brought a small, unknown people to the awareness of other Europeans.

The effect of the Kalevala on Finnish culture, arts and sciences has been significant. It has left its mark on the fine arts, literature, theater, dance and music. It lives on in popular culture, films, comics, games and commercials. During different periods, the Kalevala has been significant in different ways, and has given birth to different, strong interpretations. SOURCE (Finnish)

This is my personal copy I have in my library which is beautifully done with fantastic illustrations. Highly recommended.

Not so long ago, in the tiny, isolated villages of Finland, where prolonged summer days gave way to endless winter nights, people would pass the time by singing the many adventures of their favorite heroes: the mighty, magical men and women of ancient days.

They sang of old Vainamoinen, greatest of sages and magicians, who helped create the world but never could find a woman to wed him.

They sang of his friend and ally Ilmarinen, first among craftsmen, the blacksmith who forged the dome of the heavens.

They sang of Louhi, the ancient lady of Northland, whose crafty wit and magical powers made her a worthy opponent for Vainamoinen himself.

And they sang of Aila, Louhi’s lovely daughter, who captured the hopes of the two old friends and drew them as rivals to the shores of Northland.

And while these songs could still be heard, there came along a doctor, a scholar, who gathered and wove them together in a book he called the Kalevala. And so he created for Finns a national epic, and for the rest of the world, a work of wonder.

The songs endure, the heroes live. . . .

– from The Songs of Power: A Northern Tale of magic. Retold by Aaron Shepherd from the Kalevala

Further Resources

Full text of “The Kalevala : the epic poem of Finland”

The Kalevala – The Beginning of Beer in the Finnish Epic Saga

Tolkien and the Kalevala

Kalevala is Finland’s national epic. Compiled by Elias Lönnrot in the 1800s, it consists of epic poems of creation, magic, lust, vengeance and death. A story of the sons of Kaleva, the forefather of Finns, it takes the reader to a mythical ancient land filled with monsters and magic, and even to the realm of the dead. Be sure to check more from Antti Palosaari.
Veera Voima is a Finnish folk singer who specializes in rune singing. Her project “Myths of Making” is based on the birth myths of Kalevala. This is a short version of her song “Raudan Synty” (The Origin of Iron).
The Kalevala: the Epic Poem of Finland (Crawford Translation) by Elias LÖNNROT (1802 – 1884), translated by John Martin CRAWFORD (1845 – 1916) Genre(s): Poetry, Sagas Part 2 and Part 3
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Unbreakable

Unbreakable

© Eiríkr Haf Úlfrsson

Unbreakable I have lived through soul-shattering storms.

I have walked through fields of Fire and Blood,

the scars I carry still.

I have been thrown into the depths of the Ice,

And survived only to carry the Frosted-Spirits with me.

I have been thrown into the path of violence alone, left to fight my way out and survived to see another day.

I have been the Leader of others,

tasked to be trusted for their lives.

Only to see some never return home.

I have been the bringer of Death, Sorrow and Pain, a task that destroys the Mind and Spirit of many,

yet I am still here.

Though the faces and terrors of what I have done, Who I was still come calling in the Darkest of Nights,

I find a way to carry on.

Though I Live everyday with the Monster within, I trust in myself to keep it at bay.

I am not ashamed of who I am.

Regrets I have plenty but the Past will always remain as is.

Years in solitude gives a Man of my experiences time to think, To reflect on our past Deeds.

It makes one wonder a great many things.

The choices I made for myself and for those who trusted my leadership Perhaps one of my complications is meant to walk The Spiritual Path alone.

At least, until otherwise deemed fit to be among those Who can truly accept me for who I am, and once was.

I make no apologies for who I am now,

Nor will I avert who I truly am and the Gods and Goddesses Who resonate and speak to me in ways I am only beginning to understand.

I feel they have kept me alive and guided me my entire life.

For what purpose I know not and though they are the Gods and Goddesses Most fear and even hate, they have shown me love.

So be that as it is, I will remain steadfast in who I am, and never apologize for what I believe.

If this means remaining as I am today,

Then it is as it is meant to be.

My Code of Honor is as unbreakable As my Mind, Body and Soul have proven to be.