Ly Seppel

Poems Ly Seppel

About Ly Seppel

Ly Seppel (given name Ly Ehin, b. 30. IV 1943) is a poet and translator.

Ly Seppel was born in Haapsalu and attended Rapla secondary school from 1950 to 1961. She graduated from Tartu State University in 1967 in Estonian philology, and thereafter studied Turkic and Tatar languages in Baku and Moscow. Since 1972 she has been a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union. Since 1974 she has been a professional writer in Rapla. In her later years she has been active in psychology. Ly Seppel was married to the poet Andres Ehin (1940 – 2011). Their daughter is the poet Kristiina Ehin (b. 1977).

Ly Seppel has written poetry and children’s prose. Her debut volume, the poetry collection Igal hommikul avan peo (‘Every Morning I Open My Palm’, 1965) appeared on the third cassette issues by the ‘cassette generation’. By her third collection, Varjuring ümber tule (‘Circle of Shadow Around the Fire’, 1974, Juhan Smuul award 1975), Seppel’s poetry had achieved maturity. In her poems, written mostly in free verse, the author seeks connections with her fellow humans, with traditions and the wider cultural arena, which would at the same time fix and transcend the limitations that are the human lot. Seppel’s more recent poetry is collected in the volumes Ajasära (‘The Lustre of Time’, 2003) and ‘Mälujuur = The Root of Memory’ (2009, English translation by Ilmar Lehtpere).

For the poem ‘Eelkevadises metsas’ (‘In the Pre-vernal Forest’) Seppel won the Juhan Liiv poetry prize in 2004.

Seppel published the children’s books Kaarini ja Eeva raamat (‘Kaarin’s and Eva’s Book’, 1981) and Unenäoraamat (‘The Dream Book’, 1984). They reveal a good knowledge of children’s speech, children’s ways of thinking and the world of imagination.

She has translated numerous works of poetry and prose from Turkish, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Kazakh, Turkmen, Tatar, Russian and Finnish. With Andres Ehin she translated (from Russian) a two-volume selection of Arabic tales, Tuhat üks ööd (‘The Thousand and One Nights’, 1984).

In 2001 Seppel was awarded the Order of the White Star, class V. In 2007 Ly Seppel was awarded the Literature Endowment annual award for her translation into Estonia of the novel ‘Snow’ by the Nobel Prize-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk.

L. P. (Translated by C. M.)

Books in Estonian

Igal hommikul avan peo: luuletusi 1960–1964. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1965. 60 lk.
Varjuring ümber tule. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1974. 111 lk.
Ajasära. Tallinn: Huma, 2003. 63 lk.
Mälujuur=The Root of Memory. Belfast: Lapwing, 2009. 56 lk.
Kunas kodu saab valmis?. Rapla: L. Ehin, 2014. 127 lk.

Children’s books
Kaarini ja Eeva raamat. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1981. 47 lk.
Unenäoraamat. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1984. 44 lk.