Luleå Biennial 2018

For Those Who Died in the Fire (1)
David Väyrynen

The one who has studied history knows that
Svea Granberg did not die
the third of March in
the house of Flamman

Biding her time
after a thousand sorrows
she’ll soon bring the
old to ruin

*   *   *

Everyone cannot be a
Danko as in Gorky’s poem
like Torgny, twelve years old
dead by burning

Still he is one of
five whose hearts glow
for the red fire that
is continuously lit

*   *   *

Flamman burnt but had already
suffered great damage from
the hard years of
transport prohibition

There to extinguish
Arthur’s voice that cut against
days when people screamed that
Finland’s cause is ours

*   *   *

The people who returned from Spain
were seen to have betrayed their country
for Finland they were
now queuing up

Alice became a victim
although she didn’t want to
die where Rappe demanded
that one should die

*   *   *

Strange thing that those that
never cried for war
were denied life
Maj was one of them

Pieces on a board
much too meagre
they lost the future
hopeless, out of sight

  1. On the collective gravestone commemorating those who died in the fire, two stanzas of poetry are inscribed. The present verses are an attempt to honour the victims individually.