Pentti Saarikoski
Humanist of the day

Pentti Saarikoski

Pentti Saarikoski is known as a bohemian poet who led an eventful life as an artist. His literary oeuvre consists of numerous collections of poetry, as well as sterling translation work. Saarikoski was also a socio-critical columnist and a candidate for the Finnish Parliament.

Pentti Saarikoski

Pentti Ilmari Saarikoski
Born September 2, 1937, Impilahti. Died August 24, 1983, Joensuu.

Studied at the University of Helsinki (Roman and Greek Literature, Aesthetics, Folk Poetry) 1954–

Author, translator
Editor-in-chief 1963–1967, Aikalainen magazine

Commemorative plaque 2004, Kerava
Finnish State Prize for Literature 1963, 1966, 1970, 1973, 1981, 1982
Radio Play Award of the Blind 1982
Finnish Cultural Foundation Award 1975
WSOY Translation Award 1974
Aleksis Kivi Award 1974
Pro Finlandia 1973
Otava Translation Award 1970
Mikael Agricola Award 1966
Union of Finnish Writers Award 1963
Tammi Translation Award 1962
Karisto Prose Award 1961
Kalevi Jäntti award 1959

Photo: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo
Written by Tomas Sjöblom
Translated by Johanna Spoof

Pentti Saarikoski enrolled in the University of Helsinki in 1954. He was an enthusiastic student of Roman and Greek Literature, Aesthetics and Folk Poetry, but did not complete many courses. According to his fellow student, Matti Klinge, this was because Saarikoski suffered from some sort of examination phobia. He…

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While he was well known as a contrarian and a bohemian artist, in his youth Pentti Saarikoski was a religious and exemplary young man. As he got older, however, Saarikoski began to question and rebel against social norms.

Saarikoski became an active critic of society and the authorities. He developed…

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