Thursday, 1 March 2012


Kalevala Ch. 23 - Instructions and a Warning

"Kun tulevi kehruuaika, kankahan ku'onta-aika,
k�y el� kynsi� kyl�st�, oppia ojan takoa,
tointa toisesta talosta, pirran piit� vierahalta!

"Itse langat kehr�ele, omin hyppysin kutehet,
langat laita lievemp�iset, rihmat aina kieremp�iset!
Keri kiinte� ker�nen, viipsinpuulle viskaele,
suvakolle suorittele, kani siit� kangaspuille!
Iske pirta piukkeasti, nosta niiet notkeasti,
ku'o sarkakauhtanaiset, hanki villaiset hamoset
yhen villan kylkyest�, talvilampahan takuista,
karvoista kev�tkaritsan, kes�uuhen untuvista!

When spinning-time comes
and cloth-weaving time, don't go
to the village for wrinkles
beyond the ditch for guidance
tot he next house for warp-thread
to a stranger for reed-teeth:
spin the yarn yourself, and with
your own fingertips the weft
make the yarn lightweight
the thread always tightly spun;
wind it into a firm ball
on the reel toss it
on to the warp beam fit it
then set it out on the loom.
Strike the reed smartly
and raise the heddles nimbly
weave homespun caftans
and make woollen skirts
from one strip of wool
the fleece of a winter sheep
from the coat of a spring lamb
the down of a summer ewe.

Translated by Keith Bosley
The Kalevala, Ch. 23
Oxford University Press, 1989

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