The Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well, this was an experience. Even though I am unable to understand it in its original version, this translation (by Kirby) made a thoroughly enjoyable audiobook. Tragic, beautiful, and so, so epic. Just look at this:
Grew an ox in far Karjala,
Not the largest, nor the smallest,
Was the ox that grew in Suomi;
But his size was all-sufficient,
For his tail was sweeping Jamen,
And his head was over Kemi,
Horns in length a hundred fathoms,
Longer than the horns his mouth was;
Seven days it took a weasel
To encircle neck and shoulders;
One whole day a swallow journeyed
From one horn-tip to the other,
Did not stop between for resting.
Thirty days the squirrel travelled
From the tail to reach the shoulders,
But he could not gain the horn-tip
Till the Moon had long passed over.
So. That was a _middle-sized_ ox? I wonder what the big one was like. Oh, Finland...
Not to mention valuable life-lessons such as "don't bother proposing to a woman if you are contending with a younger man, because women will always go for good looks" or "do not bake a stone into a cake for someone to eat just out of spite, nothing good can come of it" or "do not let a fish eat the sun, it's just generally a bad idea".
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