Kalevala is the poetic name for Finland: ‘the land of heroes’. Here you’ll find the cultural essence of a young country but an old land, the stories, songs and poems that recount the mythical adventures of humankind. Ambition, lust, romance, birth and death can all be found within its pages, as well as the sampo, a mysterious talisman that brings great happiness to its possessor and over which great battles will be fought.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HORATIO CLARE
One of the great mythic poems of Europe
I was immensely attracted by something in the air of the Kalevala
Did so much to bolster early Finnish nationalism on the road to independence
The Kalevala , the 19th-century folk epic that crystallised national resistance to Russian rule, was compiled by Elias Lonnrot from ancient runes sung from memory in the eastern forests of Karelia. The Kalevala inspired not only Sibelius but JRR Tolkien, whose Middle Earth and elfin tongue tapped Finnish myths and language