1 May 1834
My departure for Helsinki has certainly been delayed. There
have been any number of reasons why I have not succeeded
in leaving yet. The first is that I had to go to Oulu to
swear my civil servant's oath after getting my official
letter of appointment at the beginning of April. As you
know, whenever one goes to Oulu, it means at least a two-week
trip. After that I was not sure if I should go to Helsinki
right away or head for Archangel first to collect more poems.
The latter idea seemed the better, and I do not regret it.
And so, on the 13 April I left for Archangel, and was at
the vicarage in Kianta on the 15th. On the 17th I had made
it as far as the first Russian village across the border,
a place called Lonkka. I spent a good two days there writing
I left Lonkka early for Kivijärvi, where I changed horses
to come back to Latvajärvi. I reached Latvajärvi on the
25th and spent that day and the next writing down all kinds
of poems sung to me by an 80-year-old man. On the 27th,
a Sunday, I asked the womenfolk of the village to gather.
The house was soon full and after boiling a big kettle of
water for tea for anyone who wanted any, we sang till evening.
I came back over the border to Finland, spent the 28th in
the vicarage in Kianta, with Saxa and came back under difficult
road conditions - just about the worst, in fact - to Kajaani
just yesterday. Now you've heard about my travels. So, what
of them? Nothing, really.