Virtanen, Jalmari Erikovich
Born 1889; died 1939. Soviet Karelian poet; member of the CPSU from 1920.
Virtanen was born in the village of Mainiemi in the parish of Padasjoki, Finland, into the family of a sawmill worker. After graduating from elementary school in 1901, he became a lathe operator at the Atlas Plant in St. Petersburg, from which he was dismissed in 1905. His first publication, the poem “Train,” appeared in a workers’ newspaper. Virtanen wrote about backbreaking toil and the poverty of the people. In 1908 he joined the Finnish Social Democratic Workers’ Party. With gun in hand he participated in the February and October revolutions. He went to Karelia in 1921.
In his verses Virtanen sings of the free labor of the Soviet people and of the natural beauty of the northern regions. The first collection of his poetry, At Leisure, appeared in 1930 with an introduction by M. Gorky. The collections Verses (1933), Verses (1936), andRedKantele (1937) were published in Russian translation.
WORKSValittuja runoja. Petrozavodsk, 1956.
In Russian translation: Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1957.