• Schamrock Dichterinnen

Johanna Venho (FIN)

*1971, lebt in Espoo, Finnland. Sie studierte vergleichende Literaturwissenschaften und Biologie und arbeitete als Redakteuerin beim finnischen Rundfunk Yleisradio.

Sie ist Mitgründerin, Autorin und Chefredakteuerin des Jano Poesie-Magazins (www.janolehti.fi), das erste finnische Poesie-Webzine.

Neben ihren Büchern schrieb Johanna Kolumnen und Kritiken. Sie hält Vorlesungen über Literatur und creative writing und veröffentlichte vier Gedichtbände, Kinderbücher und zwei Romane.

Johanna hat zahlreiche Preise für ihr Werk bekommen, u.a. den Katri Vala Preis 2006 und den Einari Vuorela Poesiepreis 2008.

Zuletzt erschien die Gedichtsammlung "Tässä on valo (Dies ist das Licht)", 2009. Zur Zeit arbeitet sie an einem neuen Gedichtband.

(*1971) lives in Espoo, Finland. She has studied comparative literature and biology and worked as an editor in a broadcasting company Yleisradio. She is co-founder, editor-in-chief of Jano poetry magazine (www.janolehti.fi), the first Finnish poetry webzine.

In addition to her own books Venho has written columns and critics and also works as a part time lecturer of literature and creative writing. She has published four collections of poetry, childrens books and two novels.

Venho has won numerous prizes of work, among which the Katri Vala Prize for her latest collection of poems in 2006 and Einari Vuorela poetry prize in 2008.

She published her latest poetry book "Tässä on valo (Here is the light)", 2009 and is currently working on a new poetry collection.



She has been sprinkled here and there.
She is dream and water, they
slip through fingers and are
like only a few things
a condition of life.
Or she is blood,
bone pain, meat and potatoes.

Of moments when pieces snap together
there are only a few, once in the streetcar
on a summer’s morning, after a sleepless night --

Those moments die as soon as you grasp them:
the way a lizard’s tail stays on the hot stone
and curls up, shrinks. The lizard is hurting,
it grows a new one, hides.

(p. 38)

Once again sunk into the pit mouths eyes full of clay
all orifices stopped up
you’re not struggling, one might think you’re dead

but rising up into the air
bright forest wind dries out the clay and blows
open hole by hole the best songs

(p. 39)

What you called happiness'
(an invisible, jittery flipper
in your innards)
was torn from you like an atrophied limb.
A dangling bag of flesh. A useless seed store.

A piercing sky voice. I have not heard
anyone singing such clean
shards like diamonds,
through a vaulted ceiling and painted stars
the sound of a severed road
as a flute, open at both ends


N. had left a message on the table:

“No longer do I have
the patience of ancient scribes,
the absoluteness of witches;
it is not hard to choose
between the lie and the pyre.

The fog licks
our eyeballs clean, like an old healer.

As soon as it’s dusk I’ll enter the forest
when the terrain turns smooth.
What’s the use knowing
which root you’ll stumble over.”


(p. 23)

Here is Light, still here and speaking her language, I carry her and she is sheer radiance, I carry her even though I am not a tree and completely rootless, I stand under an aspen and look far into the distance. Let us turn somersaults, leave the mean ones in their dirty waters. Birds with wings mired in mud, even if Light pities them. I turn away from them, turn away, it is getting lighter over there! The light grows wider, disperses, penetrates. It germinates, pushes, opens up. One night ball lightning pierces the darkness, in the city streets grown ever harder, I carry Light one step at a time. No one lives that way in this world, except if one does, one does not talk about it.

Translated by Anselm Hollo