Marie Under

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Marie Under
Marie Under.jpg
Marie Under circa 1899.
Born (1883-03-27)27 March 1883
Tallinn, Russian Empire
Died 25 September 1980(1980-09-25)
Stockholm, Sweden
Nationality Estonian
Literary movement Siuru, Tarapita
Spouse Carl Hacker, Artur Adson

Marie Under (27 March [O.S. 15 March] 1883 in Tallinn, Estonia – 25 September 1980 in Stockholm, Sweden) was one of the greatest Estonian poets.

Early life[edit]

Under attended a private German girl's school. After graduating, she worked as a salesclerk in a bookstore. In her free time, she wrote poetry in German. In 1902, she married an Estonian accountant, Carl Hacker. The couple had two children in Kutshino, a suburb of Moscow. However, in 1904, she fell in love with the Estonian artist Ants Laikmaa. Laikmaa convinced her to translate her poetry into Estonian and submitted her translated works to local newspapers.

Portrait of Marie Under by Estonian artist Ants Laikmaa in 1904

Return to Estonia[edit]

In 1906, Under returned to Tallinn. In 1913, she met Artur Adson, who became her secretary. He also compiled the first volumes of her published poetry. In 1924, Under divorced Carl Hacker and married Adson.

Life in Exile[edit]

Beginning in September 1944, the U.S.S.R. occupied Estonia. Under and her family fled to Sweden. They spent almost a year in a refugee camp. In 1945, the family moved to Mälarhöjden, a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden, where Under lived until her death on September 25, 1980. She is buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm.

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