Hilja Onerva Lehtinen
Humanist of the day

Hilja Onerva Lehtinen

Hilja Onerva Lehtinen, better known as L. Onerva, was a poet, author, translator and critic. Through the boldness of her lyrical expression, L. Onerva has been an inspiration to many women poets. Her poetic output was quite staggering: she penned over a hundred thousand poems. Besides her writing, L. Onerva painted watercolours and sketched.

Hilja Onerva Lehtinen

Hilja Onerva Lehtinen (L. Onerva)
Born April 28,1882, Helsinki. Died March 1,1972, Helsinki.

Aesthetics, French and Medical Studies, Imperial Alexander University, 1902-11

Teacher, French and mathematics, 1907-08, Suomalainen tyttökoulu (‘Finnish school for girls’)
Art, theatre and literary critic, Uusi Päivä newspaper, 1909-10
Literary reviewer, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, 1910-11, 1925-26
Subeditor, Sunnuntai newspaper, 1915-17

State Prize for Literature, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1921, 1923, 1927, 1933

Honorary Award, Aleksis Kivi Fund, 1944

Photo: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura
Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by
John Calton

Hilja Onerva Lehtinen was a variously talented individual whose interest extended beyond literature to visual arts, music and theatre. She wrote poems, prose and drama under the professional name L.Onerva. She also wrote reviews on arts, literature and theatre for newspapers and translated French poetry into Finnish.

Lehtinen’s writerly talent…

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