Tales from the Kalevala, by Irmgard BurtscherRudolf Steiner College Press
Rudolf Steiner recognized in the Kalevala stories the clearest pictures that have come down to us of an early phase of human soul development. In addition to telling us about the particular experience of life in Northern Europe, the stories give us all insights into our early times on earth and into our future development. Rudolf Steiner has suggested that the Kalevala will become as important for our future as the stories of ancient Greece have been in our past.
Themes from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, are used in 4th grade classrooms in Waldorf/Rudolf Steiner schools all over the world. Irmgard Burtscher, a class teacher in Liechtenstein, has made her own study of the Kalevala and Rudolf Steiner's insights into its meaning. She prepared a prose version of the stories-interspersed with verse sections-to help other teachers take up this long work. Hartmut Schiffer, another class teacher who found this version useful and inspiring, took on the task of translating it into English. May many readers find inspiration in the songs of Vainamoinen who sailed away to 'the land beneath the heavens.'