Waterloo Press

Eeva-Liisa Manner
Bright, Dusky, Bright (2009)
Translated by Emily Jeremiah

ISBN 978-1-906742-15-7

Eeva-Liisa Manner (1921–1995) was a central figure in Finnish modernism. Her breakthrough collection, This Journey, was published in 1956 and was highly acclaimed. Manner published eleven collections of poetry in all, as well as prose works, plays for stage and radio, essays, reviews and translations. She was awarded numerous prizes for her work, which has been widely translated.


Emily Jeremiah (b. 1975) is a Lecturer in German at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of an academic book, as well as of fiction, articles, reviews and translations. She lives in London.


     Author photo             Translator photo 
 Eeva-Liisa Manner       Emily Jeremiah

This is an arresting collection of poems by the Finnish writer Eeva-Liisa Manner (1921-1995), selected and translated by Emily Jeremiah. Manner’s work is spare yet shimmering; it evokes mystery and obscurity by clear and precise means. It is often unnerving – restless, questioning – but also exquisite. Manner’s imagery is startlingly fresh and lovely, and her vision is subtly compelling. Three of the translations published here have appeared previously, in Modern Poetry in Translation. One was jointly awarded third prize in the 2008 The Times Stephen Spender poetry translation competition, with Jeremiah’s interpretation being described as ‘delicate’. Such delicacy characterises this important volume.  

Emily Jeremiah’s sensitive and assured translations capture Eeva-Liisa Manner’s ethereal and entrancing poetry with rare maturity, telling of the light of the snow, a thought just passed or the weight of invisible birds. Here are versions that have the rare quality of seeing with the poet’s same eye “as through reversed binoculars”, like the poet herself, piercing right into “the ABC of the soul”. An essential volume to still troubled times.
Josephine Balmer

Eeva-Liisa Manner’s poems, in Emily Jeremiah’s beautifully honed translations, are delicate yet powerful, elusive yet evocative, luminous, mobile, haunting; capturing the fleeting loveliness and desolation of the natural world and of the human condition, they are, in the words of one poem, “fragile bits of meditation”.
Helen Carr

The poetry of Eeva-Liisa Manner is remarkable in its precision and force. It seems to occur at a sub-atomic level, where experience is borderless and change continuous while surfaces remain clear and still. The disturbance and containment she observes is so essential as to be universal and yet the world of her poems is emphatically that of Finland: its space and silence and light. 
Lavinia Greenlaw

To read extracts please click here 

To read a Finnish article (in Finnish) please click here

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