A Pack of Cards (Kaardipakk)



Deck of Cards (poetry with Asko Künnap, Jürgen Rooste, Karl Martin Sinijärv, Elo Viiding, Triin Soomets) (Poetry, Estonian)
Published by Näo Kirik, 2001, pp. 56

A Pack of Cards looks like any pack of cards, only, it is polyfunctional. It contains the whole set of playing cards, but besides the traditional markings, each card carries a poem. This is an original anthology of the poetry of five authors; the format and function of a pack of cards should make it more attractive than an ordinary collection of poetry, bring it to the attention of the wider public and, hopefully, also affect the sales.

As a publication, A Pack of Cards has been beautifully designed, and the list of authors guarantees the quality of the anthology: they all belong to the top of modern Estonian poetry. Only Asko Künnap is a relatively recent newcomer, but his slightly futuristically and aestheticizedly written depressive city poetry with a global air is very convincing. Karl-Martin Sinijärv, who has written poetry for almost half of his lifetime of thirty years, surprises us with laconic aphorism-like verses, full of happy pessimism and witty linguistic play. Jürgen Rooste was given the Debut Award for the year of 2000. He is discovering the world – through eroticism as well, being witty and loud, and exercising graphic poetry and unusual page layout. The two ladies of this company are more severe and restricted than the others, concerning both the form of their poems as well as their emotionality. Triin Soomets is steadily following the model of great Estonian poetesses, her texts balance intellectuality and sensuality, her bright verses are charged with erotic tension; they are full of pleasures veiled with romantic mystery and unexplainable tragedy. Elo Vee, who writes free verse and uses ordinary spoken language, examines the time, everyday life and herself in the tense atmosphere of the turn of the century.

Typographically, a pack of cards is a very suitable format for a collection of poetry. The content of the collection seconds the idea and the company of authors ensures its quality and enjoyability. And something should be said for a good game of cards as well.

Text by by Janika Kronberg

First published in Estonian Literary Magazine 2001 No 13

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