Romantic Poets in Epic Form of Nordic Countries and Estonia’s Classical Dialect Poetry
Keywords:ethnic minorities, romanticism, dialect poetry, ethical humour
The recently awakened academic interest in the multilingual character of the written culture of the Baltic region in more distant times calls for fresh attention to and reassessment of the poetry of the ethnic minorities that have inhabited the territory of Estonia. One such minority was the Estonian Swedes who dwelt in western Estonia up to 1944. This paper mainly focuses on the lifecourse, as reflected in his poems, of Estonian Swedish native skald Mats Ekman, who wrote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since his work and the whole topic of Estonian Swedish culture are largely unknown in Estonia and everywhere else, except for the direct descendants of that minority, the paper offers the necessary background information, while also applying the method of close reading to a few of the author’s poems in the original Swedish dialect and in English. Parallels are drawn with the major classical authors of neighbouring Nordic countries, such as Esaias Tegnér of Sweden and Aleksis Kivi of Finland, authors who can be seen as models not only for Ekman, but also for a number of significant ethnic Estonian poets who wrote in Estonian, such as Juhan Liiv and Ernst Enno.
Copyright (c) 2023 Lauri Pilter
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