Friday, January 31, 2014

Sirje Kiin and Marie Under, Poets, Writers, and Estonians

After a day at home it was nice to get out and have a meal with my mom and the wife and go see our Madisonian Sirje Kiin tell about the subject of her book:  Marie Under, an Estonian poet whose work hasn't had the attention it deserves.  Her poetry is almost all written in Estonian, a language that only about 1.5 million people speak in the world.  Sirje has written (in Estonian) a critical biography of the poet.  
The biography is now being translated into English, along with some new translations of the poetry.  It's a remarkable thing to hear about a person who lives just up the street who is working on such good, important things.  Marie Under's Wikipedia page needs editing!
Our speaker pointed out that one of the problems with getting Under the attention she deserves is that good translations of the poetry can be difficult, since the language they're written in is so unlike English or many other major languages.  

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