A1 Journal article (refereed)
"Sanakirjat pitkin pöytää" : kuvallisuuden suhde avantgardeen Pentti Saarikosken 1960-luvun poliittisessa lyriikassa (2012)
The Relation of the Figurativeness to the Avant-Gardism in Pentti Saarikoski’s Political Lyrics of the 1960’s

Ylitalo, R. (2012). "Sanakirjat pitkin pöytää" : kuvallisuuden suhde avantgardeen Pentti Saarikosken 1960-luvun poliittisessa lyriikassa. Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen aikakauslehti Avain, 9(3), 49-62. https://doi.org/10.30665/av.74879

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsYlitalo, Riikka

Journal or seriesKirjallisuudentutkimuksen aikakauslehti Avain



Publication year2012


Issue number3

Pages range49-62

PublisherKirjallisuudentutkijain Seura

Place of PublicationHelsinki

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageFinnish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80366


In Saarikoski’s political poems, there are two things combined: figurativeness which is the traditional medium of poetry, and political radicalism. This combination is part of Saarikoski’s “political poetics”. Not much academic research has been carried out about Saarikoski’s lyrics, but it’s been studied earlier by for example Janna Kantola and H. K. Riikonen. In Saarikoski’s political-regarded works of the 1960’s, the most avant-garde-influenced are Mitä tapahtuu todella? (“What really happens?”) (1962) and Ääneen (“Aloud”) (1966). According to my interpretation, Mitä tapahtuu todella? is mostly influenced by artistic avant-gardism: collage and montage are used, among other things. In Ääneen, the speaker of the poem is continually saying that he’s a communist, and implores his audience to choose this ideology too. The traditional figurativeness containing “birds”, “flowers” and “trees”, is used. This concerns also Mitä tapahtuu todella?. There is both indirect imagery and concrete images in poems.

Peter Bürger has stated that the avant-gardists wanted to re-establish art back to every-day life (Lebenspraxis). In Saarikoski’s lyrics, this can be seen for example in how daily things such as a photo in a newspaper or having dictionaries lie about the table are described. Figurativeness, being one medium of poetry, plays an important role in this kind of description.

Keywordslyric poetrypolitical characterpoeticsavant-gardeliterary research

Free keywordsPentti Saarikoski

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2012

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-08-05 at 19:46