Aivo Lõhmus

Poems Aivo Lõhmus

About Aivo Lõhmus


Aivo Lõhmus (21. VII 1950 – 28. III 2005) was a writer and translator.

He was born in Põlvamaa county and attended Karaski school, graduated from the Tallinn School of Technology in 1969 and from the State University of Tartu in 1976 in Estonian philology. His technological education on the one hand and his grounding in philology from the University of Tartu on the other made Aivo Lõhmus into a sensitive humanitarian, at the same time with diverse practical skills. From 1974 to 1979 he worked on the culture section of the newspaper Edasi, and from 1992 to 1993 as culture editor for Hommikuleht in Tartu. From 1985 to 1997 Lõhmus was a consultant and the treasurer of the Tartu branch of the Writers’ Union. From 1996 he worked freelance.

Aivo Lõhmus started as both a poet and a critic. He wrote his first critical pieces in 1974; his debut as a poet, Aastarangid (‘Hames of Years’) appeared in 1976. Lõhmus has also written sonnets and dialect poetry. In 1991 Lõhmus produced a verse collection in Finnish, Kysymyksiä presidentille (‘Questions for the President’) in Jyväskylä in Finland. In the same year a Finnish-language documentary film was made about him, Aivo Tartosta (‘Aivo from Tartu’).  

His four collections of poetry, his novel set in Tartu, Alla orgu ja üle jõe (‘Down to the Valley and Over the River’, 1988), and the play he wrote with Madis Kõiv, Põud ja vihm Põlva kihelkonnan nelätõistkümnendämä aasta suvõl (‘Drought and Rain in Põlva Parish in the Summer of ‘Fourteen’, 1987), give a flavour of this original and diverse writer with his keen ear for language.

Lõhmus was also a prolific commentator on public affairs. He published reviews of literature, theatre and film, as well as political issues, setting out the problems perceptively. Lõhmus made a thorough study of the banning and destruction of Estonian books between 1940 and 1953. A survey of his many articles and reviews was published as a separate book, a selection called Võim ja vari (‘Power and Shadow’, 2002).

Aivo Lõhmus translated poetry and prose from English and Finnish into Estonian. His great achievement as a translator was arguably his translation into Estonian of Aleksis Kivi’s novel ‘Seven Brothers’.

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


Books in Estonian

Aastarangid: luulet 1969–1973. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1976. 88 lk.
Puumaamees: luuletusi 1973–1976. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1978. 83 lk.
Nüüd ja enne, siin ja mujal. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1982. 46 lk.
Hüüdja hääle murre. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2000. 95 lk.

Alla orgu ja üle jõe: romaan aastast 1984. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1988. 174 lk.

Põud ja vihm Põlva kihelkonnan nelätõistkümnendämä aasta suvõl. Madis Kõiv, Aivo Lõhmus. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1987. 142 lk.

Võim ja vari: lugusid kaugematest ja lähematest aegadest. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2002. 318 lk.

Piret Lotman, Aivo Lõhmus, Eesti raamatute hävitamine nõukogude võimu poolt. Tallinn: Okupatsioonide Repressiivpoliitika Uurimise Riiklik Komisjon, 1995. 10 lk.

Books in Finnish

Kysymyksiä presidentille: trenditekstejä: runoja. Jyväskylä: Gummerus, 1991. 95 lk.