Hannes Varblane

Hannes varblane

Hannes Varblane (18 VI 1949 – 5 VII 2022) was a poet, essayist and critic.

Varblane was born at Võhma in Viljandimaa county into a family of teachers. He graduated from Nõo secondary school in 1967 and studied Estonian philology for one year at Tartu State University, and then switched to history. He graduated in general history from the University in 1974. From 1974 to 1975 Varblane worked as a teacher at Vana-Kuuste middle school, from 1975 to 1982 as a researcher at the Sports Museum of the Estonian SSR in Tartu, and from 1985 to 2012 as a technician, researcher and director of exhibitions at the Tartu Museum of Art. Since 1996 until his death Hannes Varblane belonged to the Estonian Writers’ Union.

Varblane’s first poetry collection, Mäel, mis mureneb (‘On the Mountain which is Crumbling’), appeared in 1990 and won the Betti Alver prize for a debut in 1991. The work aroused attention with its strong individuality. The collection presents moody images of Tartu, as well as motifs from classical world culture and reflections on amorous experiences. In Varblane’s second collection, Sina armasta mind (‘You Love Me’, 1993), sombre tones prevail. Since that time Varblane’s verses portrayed a confession of a split mental life and a personality dissatisfied with the world. Varblane’s work was influenced by Beat literature and the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s songs. He produced nine collections of poetry; his poetry has been translated into Russian, English, Finnish and Flemish.

Varblane has also written articles about and reviews of English and American literature and painting. His reviews and essays on cultural history have appeared in the collections Ilmavallas (‘In the World Community’, 2002) and Ilmavallas II (2015).

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

Books in Estonian

Mäel, mis mureneb. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1990. 104 lk.
Sina armasta mind. Tallinn: Umara Kirjastus, 1993. 164 lk.
Vihkamiseta. Tallinn: Umara, 1995. 78 lk.
Mina enam ei armasta sind. Tallinn: Umara, 1997. 58 lk.
Avalikult halb. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 1999. 94 lk.
Letaalse lõpuni. Tallinn: Umara, 1999. 52 lk.
Võõrikvend. Tallinn: Umara, 2000. 63 lk.
Taarnateel. Katsetusi 1967–1970. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2009. 93 lk.
Teise üksilduse aegu. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2018. 102 lk.

Ilmavallas. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2002. 270 lk.
Ilmavallas II. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2015. 285 lk.