The Finnish Orchestra

In her most topically comprehensive collection of poetry, Rantala considers her heritage as she knows it—spare of fact, filled with impression and effect. At varying times lyrical, modernist, post-modern and runic, the pieces create an eclectic symphony of the individual, as unique as the orchestra in which her immigrant grandfather played in early 20th Century Astoria, Oregon (he’s standing in the back with the Bass Violin.)
A core handful of these works first appeared in Rantala in Archipelago

A phenomenal book … the genres of poetry and memoir and travel journal blend masterfully and the rhythms of the juxtapositions make the book one grand poem so full of surprising shifts — The powerful lyrical imagery affects one on such a deeply personal level.

Order it here: The Finnish Orchestra


Arch of dark,
the sun, low in love,
as used as smooth as sauna,
dim for the weary, the dead,
their eyes of coal;
travelers reddened by steamed joy.

Night lets itself in.
A foot wrong here is the arctic


I flat out loved this book. A must read for anyone with Finland in their history, for anyone who wants to discover an unknown land, for anyone who loves a fine romance on a cold winter night.
—Rebecca Loudon in No. 23 of Galatea Resurrects

One is estranged, yet immersed in this Finnish family and their near arctic land of marshes, wolves and auroras. The vintage B&W photos show the characters and their environs, merging with the atmosphere of the poetry. Poets and those who read and teach poetry are the tide pools that will hold this treasure dear.
—(Amazon review)

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