Leaves Fell

By Juhan Liiv 1864–1913 Juhan Liiv

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

A gust roused the waves,
leaves blew into the water,
the waves were ash-gray,
the sky tin-gray,
ash-gray the autumn.

It was good for my heart:
there my feelings were ash-gray,
the sky tin-gray,
ash-gray the autumn.

The breath of wind brought cooler air,
the waves of mourning brought separation:
autumn and autumn
befriend each other.

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, Sorrow & Grieving, Nature, Fall

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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