by Jüri Talvet

Faith in markets lost! In November 2008 American
salesmen offer luxury cars, two for the price of one. The
walls of banks are of glass, but bankers shuffle in a circle
in closed rooms without windows, they are dizzy, faith
in money lost! The chief terrorist “Txapote” calls
their judges fascists. Very young students rush
to bloody themselves against steel helmets,
batons and shields, against laws laid down
in Bologna by ministers’ neckties. Faith lost! Bankers
and ministers shuffle in a circle in a prison yard.
The world is a prison without love! Calderón knew it
but added nevetherless:
In me love has been my soul.

(Trans. H. L. Hix)

Isegi vihmal on hing (Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2010)

Jüri Talvet's picture

Poet, essayist, translator and university professor Jüri Talvet was born in Pärnu, Estonia, in 1945. He graduated from the faculty of philology from the University of Tartu. He received his PhD degree in Western literatures from Leningrad / Saint Petersburg University (1981). Since 1992 he is Chairing Professor (of world literature) at Tartu University. He made his debut with a book of poems, Äratused (Awakenings, Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1981). Besides eight books of poetry, he has published six essay books in his native Estonian, as well as numerous translations (mainly from Spanish). In 2008 he edited a major anthology of American poetry in Estonian translation. He has been awarded Juhan Smuul Annual Prize of Literature (in essay, 1986), Juhan Liiv Poetry Prize (1997) and Ivar Ivask Memorial Prize of Essay and Poetry (2002). Selections of his poetry have appeared in translation in Spain (Elegía estonia y otros poemas, 2002; Del sueño, de la nieve, 2010), Canada (Estonian Elegy. Selected Poems, 2008; Of Snow, of Soul, 2010), France (De la neige, des rêves, 2011) and Romania (De din somn, de din zăpadă, 2011). Also, his essays have been translated into English, Spanish and Catalan.

Last updated September 19, 2011