Ilmi Kolla

Poems Ilmi Kolla

About Ilmi Kolla


Ilmi Kolla (4. VI 1933 – 18. XII 1954) was an Estonian poet whose short-lived life paved the way for the poetry innovations of the sixties.

She was born in Pärnu; in 1944, her family relocated to Surju, where she received seven years of schooling. She started her secondary education in Pärnu but fell ill with tuberculosis before she could graduate. In 1950, she became a member of the Pärnu department of the Young Authors’ Association. In 1952, she briefly worked in the editorial board of the youth newspaper Säde. Her illness worsened and she passed away at Kivimäe hospital in Tallinn. She is buried at Surju cemetery.

Her first poems were published in periodicals in 1947. Her largely autobiographical and intimate nature and emotional poetry did not match the soviet expectations of the Stalinist era. Kolla’s poetry is characterized by a lyrical melancholy and knowledge of life’s fragility, yet at the same time it has a straight-forward openness and femininity. Pärt Lias has remarked that her poetry’s “simple sincere verses expressed an early spring budding sensation of a poetry waiting for a thaw”. Her poetry has been often set to music, one of the most well-known examples is Nukrad hetked (‘Sad Moments’, composer Arne Oit). Collections of her poetry were published posthumously.

A. K. (Translated by A. S.)


Books in Estonian

Luuletused. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1957, 80 lk.
Minu kevad. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1983, 112 lk.
Kõik mu laulud. Koostanud Eve Annuk. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 2009, 205 lk.

About Ilmi Kolla
Eve Annuk, Ilmi Kolla ja tema aeg. Biograafilise lähenemisviisi võimalusi nõukogude aja uurimise kontekstis. Doktoritöö. Tartu: Tartu ülikooli kirjastus, 2006, 190 lk.