Finnish modernist Henry Parland was a Swedish-language poet, novelist, and essayist. Born in 1908 in Vyborg, he spent his early youth in St. Petersburg and Kiev, speaking Russian in school and German at home. At the time of the Russian Revolution, he moved to Helsinki with his family, where he attended a Finnish school, a Swedish school, and finally the University of Helsinki.
Parland was associated with the avant-garde in Helsinki and worked on the Swedish-language journal Quosego. His parents, worried about his dissolute life in the city, briefly sent him to Latvia. Parland published one collection of poetry, Idealrealisation (1929), during his lifetime; his poems are available in English in Ideals Clearance (2007, Johannes Göransson, trans.). From 1929 to 1930, Parland worked on an unfinished novel titled Sönder, published in English as To Pieces (2011, Dinah Cannell, trans.). He also wrote essays about film.
Reviewer Jan Prikryl writes about his short, urban lyrics in “Photo Finnish: the snapshot poems of Henry Parland.”