Eino Leino at his desk in 1912. Picture: Elsa Roschier / National Board of Antiquities

Today we celebrate poets that have helped to shape Finnish culture and this is done through the birthday of Eino Leino.

Eino Leino was a much-loved poet and journalist helping to shape Finland’s culture. He was born on July 6, 1878 at the shore of Lake Oulujärvi and was seventh youngest of ten children.

Leino wrote poetry from a very early age and had his first poem published in 1890 at age 12. This was a direct result of his older brother, Kasimir Leino’s encouragement. Kasimir was already an established poet and art critic within Finish society. Together they founded a literature journal in 1898.

Leino gained much praise by critics after moving to Helsinki, publishing 70 books of poetry and stories throughout his career. The most well-known being a collection named Helkavirsiä (1903). He is considered the first and most influential writer of national romanticism in Finland.

As well as poetry, Leino also translated classic literature into Finnish and wrote about theater and culture in the newspaper.

Leino died on January 10, 1926.

About The Author

A newcomer to Finland from the sunny shores of Australia, I feel I have discovered a hidden gem. My family and I now call Helsinki home and I can't help but want to share my slightly different perspective of this city with the world.

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