By Juhan Liiv 1864–1913 Juhan Liiv

Translated from the Estonian by H.L. Hix & Jüri Talvet Read the translator's notes

It must be somewhere, the original harmony,
somewhere in great nature, hidden.
Is it in the furious infinite,
in distant stars’ orbits,
is it in the sun’s scorn,
in a tiny flower, in treegossip,
in heartmusic’s mothersong
or in tears?
It must be somewhere, immortality,
somewhere the original harmony must be found:
how else could it infuse
the human soul,
that music?

Source: Poetry (June 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2011


Juhan Liiv died in obscurity, never publishing a book prepared by himself. Since the twenties he has generally been recognized as one of Estonia’s greatest lyrical poets. In 2007 a book of his poetry in English translation appeared: Meel paremat ei kannata /The Mind Would Bear No Better (Tartu University Press).

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Poems by Juhan Liiv

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Arts & Sciences, Music

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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