Marie Under’s Sonnets

The classic of Estonian poetry, Marie Under (1883-1980), published her first collection Sonnets in 1917, 98 years ago. Six years after she passed away, someone called Max Harnoon, born Hasso Krull (1964) published his first collection of poems entitled Black and White. The same year, Carolina Pihelgas was born, and by now, she has become a poet and the editor-in-chief of the literary magazine Värske Rõhk. Now Krull and Pihelgas decided to publish a new version of Under’s sonnets and a large share of today’s significant poets were involved. The work assembled by Krull and Pihelgas is based on the first edition of Sonnets but Under’s sonnets are rewritten, put into modern poetic language – in a way that retains a connection with the central impression of Under’s sonnets. Every poet has written again one of the poems of Sonnets, so the book contains texts by 50 poets in total. Thus, there is no doubt that the presentation of the new version of Sonnets at the festival HeadRead is one of the most colourful events in Estonia’s literary life this year. The celebration of this magnificent work will take place at the Estonian Writers’ Union on Friday, 29 May at 8.30 pm and the performers will include the different faces, tones, colours and generations of contemporary poetry. Doris Kareva, fs, Helena Läks, Karl Martin Sinijärv, Katrin Väli, Kaur Riismaa, Kristiina Ehin, Kristina Viin, Maarja Kangro, Maarja Pärtna, Mathura, Peeter Sauter, Vahur Afanasjev and Kelly Turk will perform their versions of Marie Under’s Sonnets. The originals will be read by actress Eva Klemets.