Kaplinski joon ja Rummo sädemed. Struktuurivõrdlus / Kaplinski’s Line and Rummo’s Sparks: A Structural Comparison


  • Arne Merilai Tartu Ülikool / University of Tartu




eesti luule, poeetika, pragmapoeetika, strukturalism, poeetiline funktsioon, Jaan Kaplinski, Paul-Eerik Rummo, Estonian poetry, poetics, pragmapoetics, poetic function, structuralism


Artikkel analüüsib Jaan Kaplinski ja Paul-Eerik Rummo luuletuste struktuuri visualiseeriva pragmapoeetika abil. Käsitlus lähtub Roman Jakobsoni loodud poeetilise funktsiooni lingvistilisest teooriast, mis tõlgendab luulet kui seotud kõnet. See tähendab keele paradigmavälja elementide projitseerimist kõne süntaksiteljele ehk keelevaramu parallelismide korrastatud suunamist värssidesse. Kaplinski tekstide semantiline kumulatsioon, mis koondub luuletuse kujundliku sõnumi kui juhtmotiivi ümber, ilmutab tavalisest suuremat paradigmaühtsust. Rummolik struktuur läheneb veelgi enam sünkroonilisele paradigmaväljale, millega kaasneb süžeelisuse tugevam fragmenteerumine. See võib viia nii narratiivi kui ka keelelise sidususe kohatise vaibumiseni.


The article discusses the structure of Jaan Kaplinski’s and Paul-Eerik Rummo’s poetry through making use of visualising pragmapoetics. The discussion proceeds from Roman Jakobson’s linguistic theory of the poetic function that treats poetry as bound speech. This involves projecting elements from the paradigm field of language on the syntax axis of speech, that is, systematised directing into verse of parallelisms to be found language.

The semantic accumulation of Kaplinski’s texts that condenses around the poems’ figurative message emerging as a leitmotif demonstrates a paradigmatic unity greater than that commonly found in traditional poetry, which finds expression in the amplification of catalogues or lists of words and concepts. For instance, the ballad “Üks kuningas oli kord maata” (“Once there was a king without a kingdom”) contains 22 references to the motif of land/earth and 27 to the king and his crown/throne. Around this, motifs of waiting, feeling sad, growing old, dying and decaying, as well as a rich vocabulary connected with burials become consolidated. The 18-sentence text “Luuletused on elanud maakeral juba eotseenist saadik…” (“Poems have  been living on Earth since the Eocene epoch”), that reminds of an entry in a reference work, includes altogether 23 references to the word/concept “poem” that is in a substitutive dialogue with the word and concept “elephant” that the text proceeds from; thus, it contains twice 23, that is altogether 46, accumulating references. These form a dense paradigmatic web (rhizome) with points of converence that is brought together into a plotted narrative that dynamically sketches the semantic field and foregrounds it.

The catalogue structure of Rummo’s poetry is similar to that of Kaplinski, but it often comes even closer to the synchronic paradigmatic field, which is accompanied by an increased fragmentation of a lyrical-narrative plot. This may lead to a noticeable decrease of both thematic and linguistic coherence, which on occasion can even approach glossolalia. If Kaplinski is consistent in retaining his ideological plotline that runs through the expanded paradigm field of his text as a leitmotif and keeps it together, Rummo in his “casting of sparks”, as he puts it in one of his poems, can employ parallel alternative plot rudiments and a narrative that has a tendency to disperse. To put it as a metaphor, one is characterised by a method reminiscent of a single-furrow plough, the other has the effect of a hay rake with multiple teeth. It can be claimed that, in comparison with Kaplinski’s structure, Rummo’s structure as a secondary modelling system employs an additional formal filter of the next level that finds expression in an increased fragmentation of the expression axis and a more pluralised explication of the paradigm field than in Kaplinski’s case. If Kaplinski’s model represents a clear creation of clarity, then Rummo’s is more of a dispersed creation of clarity. The former as a “less complex” method has proved to be quantitively more fruitful, the latter seems more “experimental” in its turn. Their similarities and differences prove them both to be of a high artistic value. 


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Author Biography

Arne Merilai, Tartu Ülikool / University of Tartu

Arne Merilai – PhD, Tartu Ülikooli eesti kirjanduse professor. Uurimissuunad: rahvuskirjandus maailmakirjanduse kontekstis strukturaalse ja võrdleva poeetika, analüütilise pragmapoeetika ning teoreetilise ühendvälja alusel.


Arne Merilai – PhD, professor of Estonian literature at the University of Tartu. His main research interests are: Estonian literature in the context of world literature and unified theoretical field, structural and comparative poetics, and analytical pragmapoetics.