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Review: Six Estonian Poets, ed. Doris Kareva

Alexander Jacoby, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre Review, 12 Oct 2015

[...] this new selection of modern Estonian verse brings us up to date, gathering poems by one major writer of the late Soviet period, Juhan Viiding, and five younger poets active mainly in the years since 1991, when Estonia regained its independence.


The poems are presented in parallel text. While non-native readers of Estonian are few, even the reader who knows no Estonian, or who recognises only a few words, may find the original text useful, since it clarifies some of the formal intricacies which are necessarily lost in translation.


Editor Kareva provides an enlightening and informative introduction to this valuable anthology, which opens up new perspectives on Estonian literature and the modern Estonian experience to English-speaking readers. In one poem, Juhan Viiding speaks of "a tiny regret that not every notion translates to another tongue." It is a mark of the excellence of this collection that the reader's regrets about this are no more than tiny.