Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Yesterday evening Leevi Lehto was presented with the Nuori Voima award. Leevi read, both in "civilized Finnish" (not so civilized really) and "barbaric English" (HUMUNGOUSLY BARBARIC).

One of the poems Leevi read was byos - his translation of Lars Mikael Raattamaa's Pajkerno, a univocal rendition of a Swedish classic, Pojkarna by Anna Maria Lenngren, written in 1797. The method is quite simply to switch out all the vowels and replace them with single vowels so that the nonsense will read a bit like Christian Bök's Eunoia: "Jag mans dan ljafva tadan / Jag mans dan sam a gar" etc., changing vowels with each new verse and going through all the Swedish vowels in alphabetical order - nine in total. Leevi honoured me by asking me to read the Swedish part, while he read his English translation. The reading should soon be up at Nokturno.

Anyways. I did a similar thing last winter, much shorter and with only one vowel, and sent it to the Flarf postlist. For the occassion of Leevi's award, I have posted it to the poetry blog. Click here to read. The name is, by coincidence, some sort of allusion to Leevi's new barbaric second language.

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