Eino Leino in 1912
6 July 1878|
|Died||10 January 1926
Eino Leino (6 July 1878 – 10 January 1926) was a Finnish poet and journalist and is considered one of the pioneers of Finnish poetry. His poems combine modern and Finnish folk elements. The style of much of his work is like the Kalevala and folk songs. Nature, love, and despair are frequent themes in Leino's work. He is beloved and widely read in Finland today.
Eino Leino was born as Armas Einar Leopold Lönnbohm in Paltamo and was the seventh and youngest son in a family of ten children. Leino's father had transferred his surname from Mustonen to Lönnbohm to advance in his career.
Leino published his first poem at 12 and, by age 18, a collection of poems as well, Maaliskuun lauluja.
Early in his career Eino Leino was much loved and praised by the critics. He joined literary and newspaper circles and became a member of the Young Finnish circle. Among Leino's friends were the artist Pekka Halonen and Otto Manninen, who gained fame as a poet and translator.
After the Finnish Civil War, Leino's idealistic faith for national unity collapsed, and his influence as a journalist and polemicist weakened. He was granted a State writer's pension in 1918 at the age of forty. Although publishing prolifically, he had financial problems and his health deteriorated. "Life is always a struggle with eternal forces," Leino said in a letter in 1925 to his friend Bertel Gripenberg.
Leino published over 70 books of poems and stories. The most famous of these are the two poem collections Helkavirsiä (1903 and 1916), in which he extensively uses Finnish mythology and folklore. In addition, Leino was the first person in Finland to translate Dante's Divine Comedy into Finnish.
Leino was married three times and had one daughter, Helka. He died in 1926 at the age of 47.
- Eino Leino. Books and Writers by Petri Liukkonen at www.kirjasto.sci.fi (English)