Team Louhi is a poetry experiment. It involves me rewriting a poem of the Finnish epic Kalevala each week, in English. I am writing in the original Kalevala meter, trochaic tetrameter (DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM-da), with an emphasis on capturing the rough narrative arc of each poem, prioritising the Kalevala’s characteristic alliteration and just a hint of its repetition. I normally write free verse, which makes sticking to a meter a challenge, and because recalcitrance is such an important part of my personal brand Team Louhi has minimal capitalisation and punctuation.
Team Louhi is not, strictly speaking, a translation. I am not a translator; I am a bilingual poet with a dark past in cultural studies/history. Translating (and interpreting) are really, really demanding professional skills and if you are ever in a position to need something translated, get a professional in instead of a mate who’s “good at languages” (or worse, an algorithm). I may well devote some time to translation disasters some point in the year.
If you’re curious about my other poetry, you can have a look at this YouTube playlist, and keep your peepers out for Informalities, a poetry collection in which I dissect the sonnet, coming out in February.