In Estonian






Hasso Krull, poet and essayist, was born in 1964. He studied the Estonian language and literature at Tallinn's University of Pedagogy. In 1993 he graduated from the Estonian Institute of Humanities; since 1990 he holds the post of lecturer at same. He has published several collections of poetry, written numerous essays and literary reviews. Krull's poems have been translated into Finnish, Swedish, English, French and Latvian.



«I did count on the piece's scherzo-like nature.»

Written in 2000, borrows its title from Hasso Krull's eponymous collection of poems, the final item of which constitutes the text of Tally's composition. Stylistically, Swinburne occasionally references free jazz and mockingly quotes from Bach's St. Matthew Passion. The chosen line-up and the selected performers' particular characteristics, however, prompted the composition's essential features. Thus, comments Tally, she "did count on the piece's scherzo-like nature befitting actor Ardo-Ran Varres's artistic disposition."

Ardo Ran Varres – narrator; Iris Oja – soprano; Alar Pintsaar – baritone; Vambola Krigul – percussions; Külli Möls – accordion; Robert Jürjendal – electric guitar


Hasso Krull: ”Swinburne is probably the most whimsical poetic text I have ever written. It originated from a mere curiosity and accidentally expanded into a book-length poem. I started to write the poem after reading Donald Thomas's biography of Swinburne, that "inspired" me with its nasty and insinuating tone. The biography included a large amount of gossip and irritating details that I could use for a starting-point. The poem consists of two parts, the first one getting under way from the poets alcoholism, the second from his sexuality. Basically it is quite untranslatable, the langague melting like butter on a hot pan. Mirjam Tally has chosen some playful lines from the second part that are nevertheless more transparent than the large bulk of the text.”


Estonian Radio selected Mirjam Tally's Swinburne to represent Estonia on the International Rostrum of Composers 2001.




Hasso Krull/Mirjam Tally

The month of May, the green; look around, there you are, riding in the forest amidst the wet boughs. In the wee wee hours, before the dawn of day; hark, it is springtime, something to be seen under the trees, little smoke arising. – Wanderers, proceeding to Egypt

Boldly I came to you into the dressing room. Ostrich feathers.

Half of them authentic feathers.

Another half. Peacock feathers.

There was something the season wanted,

though the ways and the woods smelt sweet

the breath of lips that panted

the pulse of grass at your feet

Something the season really desired -- a missing link.

In spite of the sweet

lingering smell of the woods, haze on the country roads.

Gasping lips.

The snake-like grass throbbing under your feet.

Trying to pick you up. I couldn't.

Your left leg overwhelmingly heavy.

Trying to pick the right leg. I couldn't.

Your right leg overwhelmingly heavy

according to symmetry.

And the most and the worst of this is

that neither is most to blame

if you have forgotten my kisses

and I have forgotten your name.

Skin-coloured tights, skin-coloured limbs.

Skin-coloured eyes.

Skin-coloured cheek hand toe lips.

Skin-coloured crotch. Skin-coloured hair


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