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Poetry Riders Jukka Itkonen and Leelo Tungal visited Tartu Guest post by Anniina Ljokkoi


Poetry Riders Jukka Itkonen and Leelo Tungal visited Tartu Guest post by Anniina Ljokkoi

The literature Festival Prima Vista offered some poetry for children 10th May at Tartu Public Library. Poetry riders of the last year’s tour, Jukka Itkonen and Leelo Tungal presented the new book Mõnus sajuilm. The book includes selected poems from the Finnish poet Jukka Itkonen, which are translated into Estonian by Leelo Tungal.


Jukka Itkonen is talented poet, who has written poems and lyrics for his own music and for others. Leelo Tungal, who interviewed him, asked if it is so, that already two music albums with his own lyrics have been published.

Actually, there’re hundreds of albums with my texts”, Itkonen corrected, “I just haven’t published all myself. I have written more texts for others, who are many times better singers than I am.”


Jukka Itkonen’s poems for children are rich of rhyme, play on words and funny situations. They also have many feelings like loneliness, friendship, fear and happiness. It was interesting to follow the expressions on the children’s faces, when Jukka Itkonen and Leelo Tungal presented the poems. The most affected reactions they got with the poem Õuduste maja (“Horror House”). There was a horrible surprise in the end of the poem, placed to the cellar of the horror house: the horse, whose rider is the teacher of maths!

I didn’t like maths in the school”, Jukka Itkonen explained.

Yeah, we can find that on your poem”, Leelo Tungal commented.


 The public of the presentation heard poems in both languages – in their original language Finnish and the Estonian translations. The Estonian translations were as good as the origins. Leelo Tungal is known as a productive poet and writer, who has published tens of books. As he has written many decades already is she the favourite author for children of many generations. It’s a big honour for a Finnish author to perform with Leelo Tungal, the patron of Prima Vista literature Festival of 2013.


At the book presentation the public could also hear the songs presented by three pupils from Tartu. Leelo Tungal spoke about the Poetry Ride Festival. At the end of the show Jukka Itkonen got the thank-you-letter of the mayor of Tartu, who expressed gratitude for visiting the culture town Tartu. Because it isn’t so common in Finland that the mayor takes part of the literature festival, Itkonen was positively surprised.

It is like I said – Tartu is a nice town!” he said. “There’s a lot of green in the town and you can see children playing in the parks”.


Mõnus sajuilm

Publisher Tammerraamat, 2013

Author Jukka Itkonen

Translation Leelo Tungal

Illustration Meelis Arulepp

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