An ode to a Finnish lake

I find it impossible to describe in words how it feels to stand next to a Finnish lake, surrounded by trees, looking at the endless sky and smelling the water, the “fragrance of deepest peace”. Thus, I decided to borrow the immortal words of the Fiinnish poet Eino Leino. The following poem is called “Peace” and it was written in 1898.

What is this fragrance around me?
What is this quietness?
What is this knowledge of peace in my heart?
What strange, great, new thing is this?

I can hear the flowers growing
and the talk of the trees in the wood.
I think all my old dreams are ripening,
all the hopes and the wishes I sowed.

Everything’s quiet around me,
Everything’s gentle and sweet.
Great flowers are opening up in my heart
with a fragrance of deepest peace.

(1898)

translated by Lola Rogers
Finnish lake somewhere in the Mäntyharju district

Finnish lake somewhere in the Mäntyharju district

11 thoughts on “An ode to a Finnish lake

    • Thank you Sue! I am so happy you like it. My wife’s mother has a cottage in the eastern part of the country, at the Lake District. No matter how often we visit, I am always overwhelmed by nature’s beauty. I don’t even mind my mother-in-law standing next to me 🙂

  1. Very beautiful! Interesting colors. My grand mother used to live for a short period in Mantyharju.

    Where exactly is your wife’s mother’s summer house? Do you go every summer?

    • It’s indeed very beautiful area. We try to spend at least one week of our summer holidays there. We visit also on weekends from time to time. It is only 2,5 hours from Helsinki. The cottage is by a small lake called Partsimaa. Have you ever been in Mäntyharju?

      • Yes when I was a child but don’t remember much. I also have relatives in Lappeenranta, but because my parents live in the west, that’s where I go when in Finland. I haven’t been to the east for a long time. Would like to come back to visit.

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