Monday, 7 June 2010

Mirjam Tuominen - 8

By Tuva Korsström


The poems


Down in straight lines the birds
silent O silent
down down
into an earth that opens like a sea
into a sea you plunge.
Up up.

It closes.

In her first collection of poems Under jorden sjönk (Under the Earth Sank, 1954) Mirjam Tuominen abandons the attempt to surround her investigation of the inner world with fictive descriptions of the outer. The characters and milieus of her short stories give way to expressions of the pure self, the idea, silence and a now clearly-enunciated awareness of God:


Make me pure
teach me silence
make me whole
teach me new words
words that are not words
words that are as silence
whole pure
not self-abandonment
not accusation
not defence
not thesis
not antithesis
but synthesis.
May life and death
hold each other in balance.

At the same time she crosses the border between illness and health, abnormality and normality which she has described many times in her books. She is no longer a sensitive but objective witness who can give reports from both sides. She gradually retreats into a clear-sighted privacy of her own, an isolation that is sometimes very frightening:


There is a cry in the forest:
I want to go home
the keys have fallen
the paths have disappeared
I cannot get there
I am badly frightened
I have frightened myself very very badly
they have frightened
I have frightened
I want to go home to the dolls there at home
home to the stove the fire the hearth.

(to be continued)

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