A Prose Rendering
Translated by Hartmut Schiffer
Tales from the Kalevala is another one of those books that I have heard so very many people ask for over the years: “Is there a Kalevala in English that tells the story in a way I can use in the classroom/to teach my children?” Now I can answer “yes” – and it is a lovely, well-told tale indeed.
Rudolf Steiner recognized the stories of the Kalevala as having the clearest pictures of an earlier phase of human soul development. He also said that in addition to telling us much about the particular experiences of life in Northern Europe, the stories also offer insights into humanity’s earlier time on Earth as well as glimpses of our future development. Steiner went so far as to say that he believed the Kalevala would become as important in the future as the stories of Ancient Greece have been in the past.
The Kalevala is used in the 4th grade curriculum in Waldorf Education. Irmgard Burtscher is a class teacher in Liechtenstein who prepared this prose version of the stories to help other teachers present them to their students. Schiffer’s translation brings these robust tales to our door with an English that is at once modern, yet retains the flavor of the ancient world. Do enjoy!