Helkavirsiä (Swedish: Helkasånger; English: Whitsongs)[1][2] is a two-part poetry collection by the Finnish poet Eino Leino, published in 1903 and 1916 respectively.[2] Leino wrote the first part in Kangasniemi, in Central Finland, in the summer of 1903, while staying at the summer house of his friend and fellow writer, Otto Manninen.[3][4]

Part I first edition cover of Helkavirsiä
Part I first edition cover, designed by painter Pekka Halonen
AuthorEino Leino
PublisherOtava, Helsinki
Publication date
1903 (part I), 1916 (part II)
Publication placeFinland

The collection draws inspiration from the country's national epic Kalevala and other Finnish mythology, merging legends and ballads with modern themes and structures.[4]

Helkavirsiä is considered not only Leino's breakthrough and one of his most notable works, but also seminal in the development of modern Finnish poetry and wider cultural identity.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b "Leino, Eino (1878-1926)". Kansallisbiografia.fi. National Biography of Finland. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Helkavirsiä". Kirjasampo.fi (in Finnish). Public Libraries of Finland. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Kangasniemi juhlistaa 100-vuotiaita Helkavirsiä". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 20 June 2003. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Helkavirsiä" (in Finnish). Yle. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  5. ^ Ahokas, Jaakko (1973). A History of Finnish Literature. American-Scandinavian Foundation. p. 149. Retrieved 25 June 2022.