Mart Raud

Poems Mart Raud

Short stories

About Mart Raud


Mart Raud (Martin Raud, pseudonym Villem Sarapik; 14. / 1. X 1903 – 6. VII 1980) was a poet and prose writer.

He was born in Viljandimaa county, was educated at Heimtali, Paistu and Viljandi, and passed his matriculation as an external student at Tallinn in 1923. From 1923 to 1924 he attended Tartu Higher Music School and attended lectures in the faculty of philosophy at the University of Tartu. Thereafter he was a professional writer in Tartu and Tallinn. During the Second World War, in 1941, he was a front-line correspondent for the Estonian Information Agency (ETA) and was a member of the NKVD’s destruction battalion in Tartu. During the German occupation he was evacuated to the Soviet Union, and worked there in the press and on radio. Coming back to Estonia, he was for a short time an editor on the journal Looming. He was a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union from 1930; he was repeatedly a member of its board. He was a member of the CPSU from 1945. In 1946 he was awarded the title of Merited Writer of the ESSR, and in 19072 People’s Writer of the ESSR. He died in Tallinn and was buried in the Forest Cemetery. His second wife was the translator Valda Raud (1920-2013), his children the writer Eno Raud (1928-1996) and the artist Anu Raud (b. 1943); his grandchildren are the writers Rein Raud (b. 1961), Mihkel Raud (b. 1969) and Piret Raud (b. 1971).

He made his poetic debut in 1919; in his first collections Kangastused (‘Mirages’, 1924) and Äitsmik (‘A Nosegay’, 1925) a romantic quality prevails. The collection Rusemed (‘Marigolds’, 1927) contains epic poetry and social concerns. Certainty of both content and form is marked in the collection Kauge ring (‘Distant Circle’, 1935). He was one of the authors taken up in the legendary Arbujad anthology compiled by Ants Oras (1938).

He also started on short prose in the twenties; the novel Uued inimesed (‘New People’), popular in its day, appeared in serial form in the newspaper Päevaleht in 1925 and was based on the theme of settlers. A new quality is marked in the novel Videvikust varavalgeni (‘From Dusk to Early Light’, 1927, 2nd prize in the Loodus publishing house’s novel competition), based on an opposition of characters, and offering a deeper psychological approach. The novel Tuulte teedel (‘In the Paths of the Winds’, 1928, 3rd prize in the Loodus novel competition), dealing with farming life, appeared under the pseudonym Villem Sarapik. Greater attention was paid to the novel Kirves ja kuu (‘The Axe and the Moon’, 1935, Tartu city literary prize), which considers a father’s and son’s conflict over various issues in life, in which the countryman values practicality above all, the other being a romantic artistic dreamer. The relationship between the creative person and society is under scrutiny in the novel Turg (‘The Market’, 1937). The opposition between reality and dreams is also one of the central themes of the short story collection Õhtused kajad (‘Evening Echoes’, 1936). Short prose came to the fore again in the late fifties, with the collection Silmast silma (‘Eye to Eye’, 1959).

The forties brought Soviet ideology into his work. Poetry collections appeared bearing the stamp of the rhetoric and subject matter of the time, often of a propagandistic tendency, such as Sõjasõna (‘War-word’, 1943), Uued sillad (‘New Bridges’, 1945), Valimispäevaks (‘For Election Day’, 1947, Soviet Estonia prize 1948), Jõud ja valgus (‘Power and Light’, 1948, Soviet Estonia prize 1949) and Kõik teed (‘All Roads’, 1953). One of the motifs of the poetry written during the war is the unification of past and present struggles; thus the motivation for the cantata Jüriöö tuled (‘Fires of St. George’s Night) is the 600th anniversary of the St. George’s Night uprising in 1943. Epic poetry is prominent in his poetry of wartime, when he wrote ballads and portrait poems (such as Viktor Kingissepp). Fables and ballads are collected in Kaks Astjat (‘Two Vessels’, 1946). Renewal in his poetry, thematic diversification and emergence from the circle of narrow Soviet ideology is marked in his collection Laulud ei lõpe (‘The Songs do Not End’, 1961), Kuldne sügis (‘Golden Autumn’, 1966) and Ärateeline (‘Outward Voyager’, 1978, J. Smuul prize 1979), signalling a new quality. A significant facet of his poetry are his witty epigrams.

The first representative of Soviet Estonian drama was Mart Raud’s Mõõk väravas (‘The Sword at the Gate’, 1941), which deals with political prisoners. The revolutionary events of the wartime were dealt with in Karastus (‘Tempering’, 1946). More attention has been paid to his drama with distinctively lyrical mood Suveöö ilmsi (‘Midsummer Night’s Reality’, 1962), which again deals with the relationship between art and society.

A. K. (Translated by C. M.)


Books in Estonian

Videvikust varavalgeni. Tartu: Loodus, 1927, 176 lk. [Järgmised trükid: 1976, 1979.]
Villem Sarapik, Tuulte teedel. Tartu: Loodus, 1928, 602 lk.
Kirves ja kuu. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1935, 357 lk. [Järgmised trükid: 1958, 1963, 1979.]
Turg. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1937, 251 lk. [Järgmised trükid: 1956, 1963, 1979.]

Short prose
Õhtused kajad. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1936, 136 lk.
Noor kangelane: jutustus noortele Nõukogude Liidu Kangelase Arnold Meri võitlejateest. Moskva: ENSV Riiklik Kirjastus, 1943, 78 lk.
Igaviku lävel: jutustus. Tallinn: Ajalehtede-Ajakirjade Kirjastus (Loomingu Raamatukogu), 1960, 63 lk.
Silmast silma: novelle. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1959, 316 lk.
Jutupõim: romaan ja jutustused. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1976, 496 lk. [Sisaldab romaani ‘Videvikust varavalgeni’.]
Valitud novellid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1980, 380 lk.

Kangastused: luuletusi 1919-1923. Tartu: Sõnavara, 1924, 99 lk.
Äitsmik: armastuslaule sügistalvest 1924. Tallinn: Tallinna Eesti Kirjastus-Ühisus, 1925, 61 lk.
Rusemed: kolm poeemi. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1927, 61 lk.
Kauge ring: luuletusi 1930-1935. Tartu: Noor-Eesti, 1935, 59 lk.
Sõjasõna: luuletusi 1941-1943. Moskva: ENSV Riiklik Kirjastus, 1943, 70 lk.
Uued sillad: isamaaluulet 1943-1944. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1945, 81 lk.
Jüriöö tuled: kantaat eestlaste Jüriöö ülestõusu 600. aastapäevaks. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1946, 28 lk.
Kaks astjat: värsse enne ja pärast sõda. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1946, 96 lk.
Valimispäevaks: isamaaluulet 1946-1947. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1947, 45 lk.
Jõud ja valgus: luuletused ja poeemid 1947-1948. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1948, 152 lk.
Valitud luuletused: 1919-1947. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1948, 283 lk.
Kõik teed: luuletusi ja poeeme. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1953, 176 lk.
Laulud ei lõpe. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1961, 94 lk.
Kuldne sügis: luuletusi 1963-1965. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1966, 128 lk.
Sõjasõna. Koost. E. Sõgel. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1970, 80 lk.
Jälgede kiri: lüürilisi ülestähendusi ja satiirilist sekkaütlemist mõne sammu võrra enam kui poole sajandi teedelt: luuletused. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1972, 307 lk.
Ärateeline: viimaste aastate luulet. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1978, 148 lk.
Laulikulugu: valik luulet aastaist 1919-1979. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1981, 374 lk.
Mart Raud. Koosanud. A. Eelmäe. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1983, 176 lk. [Sari ‘Väike luuleraamat’.]

Villem Sarapik, Kangelane kalmult. Tallinn: Töökool, 1933, 53 lk.
Villem Sarapik, Jürimatsi jaanik. Tallinn: Töökool, 1934, 31 lk.
Kirves ja kuu. Tallinn: Eesti Haridusliit, 1936, 135 lk.
Villem Sarapik, Võidumäe. Tallinn: Eesti Haridusliit, 1938, 51 lk.
Mõõk väravas. Tartu: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1941, 108 lk.
Karastus. Tallinn: Ilukirjandus ja Kunst, 1946, 84 lk.
Suveöö ilmsi. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1962, 104 lk.

Collected works
Luuleraamat. Teosed, 1. kd. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1963, 480 lk.
Kirves ja kuu. Turg. Teosed, 2. kd. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1963, 520 lk.
Silmast silma: jutustusi ja novelle. Teosed, 3. kd. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1964, 440 lk.
Lavavalgelt. Teosed, 4. kd. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1967, 224 lk.