Google+ Followers

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Anselm Hollo - as remembered by Tom Raworth





Recently Read

Facebook
Unshare A new social reading experience from The Independent, powered by Facebook. Learn More.
Andrew Burke

Andrew Burke

Logged into Facebook [Logout?]
Activity: On



Independent Dating

and
By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page





Hollo: he was talented, intelligent and wild; there was alcohol, riotous times, crazy drives
1 / 1
×
1 / 1
 
In a famous 1965 photograph he sits on the steps of the Albert Memorial behind Trocchi and Ginsberg. His hair is dark; his eyes slant. His clothes, as always, are black.
 

Anselm Hollo was a major poet, a prolific and fine translator and an inspiring teacher. His death is a loss to the world of letters and intelligence. He was born in Helsinki five years before the Winter War into a cosmopolitan and intellectual family. His professor father translated Cervantes, Dostoevsky and Henry James into Finnish, his mother taught music, his grandfather Paul, a chemist, invented the Walden Inversion. A visit to him in Germany as a small child left Anselm the memory of walking past Hitler's Reich-Chancellery. The home language was German. His sister taught him Swedish, his father Finnish, and by his early teens he was fluent in English and French.

In 1951 an American Field Service International Scholarship took him to Camp Rising Sun in upstate New York (where he met David Ball, a lifelong friend now also a poet, translator and teacher) and then to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. High school and polite Midwestern suburbia. His hosts thought Somerset Maugham "unsuitable reading". The books of Fennimore Cooper had given him a particular dream of America. This was not it.

Back in Finland, after interpreting at the 1952 Olympic Games, Hollo developed tuberculosis. From the sanatorium he went to convalesce in Germany with his grandfather. He stayed until 1957, when he met the actress Josephine Wirkus, and they married in Vienna. A handwritten application sent casually to the BBC led to a meeting with Martin Esslin and a job with the Finnish Section. The Hollos moved to London, where they lived for a decade and where their three children were born.

Article by Tom Raworth continues HERE The Independent

No comments: