Juhan Liiv poetry prize

by Jüri Talvet

JUHAN LIIV POETRY PRIZE 2001

The prize-winning poem by
MARI VALLISOO

 
I Don’t Build                                                                  Ei ehita


I don’t build! One built                                Ei ehita! Üks ehitas
six days with sweating brow.                   kuus päeva palehigis.
What came of it!                                               Mis saanud sest!
What a horrible race                                       Mis hirmus tõug
was bred in these slums!                           neis lobudikes sigis!

I don’t build! I cannot --                                 Ei ehita! Ei tohigi -
the seventh day arrived long ago.           päev juba ammu seitsmes.
I need a breather. Still a little thought --     Pean hingama. Üks mõtteke -
on the way to taking                                       peale-lõuna rahusse
an afterfnoon nap --                                       uinakule heites -
lightly weighs on me.                                       mind veidi vaevab.
At the same time, yes,                                     Samas, jah,
it will fall asleep somewhere.                        ta uinub kusagille.
That I -- the whole time work was going on   Et mina – seeaeg, kui käis töö,
didn’t move a flower.                                     ei liigutanud lille.
Let these flowers move themselves!         Need lilled ise liikugu!
They have light, chlorophyll.                           Neil valgus, klorofüll.

And I can rest in peace.                       Ja ma võin rahus puhata.
And I have plenty of time.                           Ja aega on mul küll.

(Looming 11, 2000)

Translated by Jüri Talvet and H. L. Hix



JUHAN LIIV POETRY PRIZE 2002
The prize-winning poem by
PRIIDU BEIER

On the Way!                                                                  Teele!

On the way on the way small storks           Teele teele kurekesed
across the forest across the land                  üle metsa maa
you could not capture joy                      mulle miskit rõõmu te
for me anyway                                                 teha ju ei saaks
Hungary! Italy!                                     Ungari! Itaalia!
In my burrow I live quietly                            oma urus elan vaikselt
like a lowly mouse                                    vaese hiirena
you already flap your wings                      teie juba lehvitate
over the Nile                                               tiibu Niilusel
you are growing distant in the sky           kaugenete taeva all
at high speed                                                  suurel kiirusel
Oh if I had wings                                         Ah kui oleks tiivad minul
I would fly with you                                     kaasa lendaksin
Hungary! Italy!                                            Ungari! Itaalia!
like a lowly mouse                                         vaese hiirena
every year I would                                  igal aastal teiega
travel with you                                              ma koos rändaksin
Hungary! Italy!                                             Ungari! Itaalia!
a lowly mouse                                           vaene hiireke
would long to go there                                    kas või kure nokas sinna
even in a stork’s bill                            kaasa ihaled
Oh so deep today                                      Ah nii suur poeedil on
is the poet’s wish to fly                                     täna lennupüüd
What remains of him in the Estonian sky       Eestisse jääb tast ju ainult
is only a sad and painful cry                              taevasse kurb valus hüüd


(Vikerkaar 10, 2001)

Translated by Jüri Talvet and H. L. Hix