Arvo Mets

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Arvo Antonovich Mets (Russian: Арво Антонович Метс; 29 April 1937 – 1997) was an Estonian-born Russian poet. He is regarded as a master of Russian free verse. He also translated works of Estonian poets into Russian.


Arvo Mets was born in Tallinn to an Estonian Orthodox father and a Lutheran mother. Although neither of his parents spoke Russian, he was able to learn the language on his own. He was educated at the St. Petersburg Librarian University and later at the Literary Institute in Moscow. He lived most of his life in Moscow where he edited a few literary magazines. From 1975 till 1991 he worked as an editor for the “New world” magazine (rus. “Новый мир”). Arvo Mets organised poetry reading in the “Taganka” literary club (rus. “На Таганке”). During his lifetime he published four collections of his poems. The book of his selected poems appeared posthumously, in 2006. His works also appeared in the best Russian literary magazines. A number of his poems have been translated into English, Dutch, Hindi, Serbian and other languages.

A Sample Poem by Arvo Mets[edit]


Young girls
resemble in looks
the sky,
the wind,
the clouds above.

Later these girls make
devoted wives
whose faces remind us
of houses,
carrier bags.

Still, their daughters
resemble in looks
the sky,
the wind
and streamlets in spring.

(translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)[1]



  • “Swans above Chelny” (an anthology of poems by the members of the “Orpheus” writers group from Naberezhnye Chelny), Moscow, Proceedings Publishers, 1981 (79 pages).
  • “Stones of Tallinn”, Moscow, Proceedings Publishers, 1989
  • “Annual Rings”, Moscow, Author Publishers, 1992
  • “Poems”, Moscow, The State Museum of V. Sidur, 1995
  • “In the Forests of Autumn”, Moscow, 2006, no publisher's name, series “Russian verse libre” (276 pages).

Texts in anthologies[edit]

On the Web[edit]