Elmer Rafael Diktonius

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Diktonius, Elmer Rafael


Born Jan. 20, 1896, in Helsinki; died there Sept. 23, 1961. Finnish poet and translator.

Diktonius wrote primarily in Swedish. He studied music and literature in London, Paris, and Prague. He was a member of the association Kiila. In 1921 he published his first anthology, My Verse, which was followed by the collections Hard Songs (1922), Stinging Flames (1924), Strong, but Somber (1930), and November Spring (1951). Diktonius’ poetry resembles German expressionist verse and has influenced many Finnish and Swedish poets. In 1932 he published the novel Janne Kubik, in which the revolutionary events of 1918 are portrayed from the conservative point of view (originally written in Swedish, the novel was published in Finnish in 1946). Diktonius’ verse, especially the poems written in the 1930’s, is characterized by a concern with social problems. In 1955 the anthologies Poems and Prose were published and in 1956, Letters and Particolors. Diktonius was also a literary and music critic.


Annorlunda. Helsinki, 1948.
Menningar. Helsinki, 1957.


Enckell, O. Det unge Diktonius. Stockholm, 1946.
Warburton, T. Fenntio år finlandssvensk litteratur. Helsinki, 1951.
Laitinen, K. Suomen kirjallisuus, 1917-1967. Hensinki, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.