Henrik Visnapuu

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Henrik Visnapuu
Visnapuu in 1917
Born(1890-01-02)2 January 1890
Died3 April 1951(1951-04-03) (aged 61)
Long Island. New York, United States
Occupation(s)Poet, dramatist
Years active1908–1950

Henrik Visnapuu (2 January 1890 [O.S. 21 December 1889] – 3 April 1951) was an Estonian poet and playwright.[1][2]


Henrik Visnapuu was born in Helme Parish, Viljandi County, Livonia. He first attended the village school in Reola (today in Ülenurme Parish) and college[citation needed] in Sipe (today in Kambja Parish) and the municipal school in Tartu. In 1907, he graduated from the grammar school in Narva after taking final exams in education and taught at various schools as a primary school teacher. By 1912 he moved to Tartu and taught Estonian literature at the local high school for girls. At the same time he attended lectures in philosophy at the University of Tartu. Visnapuu worked since 1917 as a journalist at the Tallinna Teataja, then until 1935 he worked as a freelance journalist and author. From 1935 to 1944 he was culture secretary in the department of the Information Agency of the Estonian state. With the approaching Soviet occupation of Estonia and the return of the Red Army, Henrik Visnapuu fled to Germany in 1944 and in 1949 moved to the United States, where he died on Long Island, New York.

Henrik Visnapuu (seated first on right) with fellow members of the Siuru movement in 1917


Henrik Visnapuu first published his lyrical works in 1908. He was one of the most important Estonian poets in the 1920s and 1930s, until the end of Estonian independence and the return of the Soviet Russian regime, when he was forced to go into exile. Besides Marie Under, he was one of the most influential members of the literary group "Siuru" (founded in 1917), which was strongly influenced by Symbolism. Henrik Visnapuu's poems are mainly of the futuristic and expressionistic genre.


Visnapuu died, aged 61, in Long Island, New York, United States.


  • Amores (1917)
  • Jumalaga, Ene! (1918)
  • Talihari (1920)
  • Hõbedased kuljused (1920)
  • Käoorvik (1920)
  • Ränikivi (1925)
  • Maarjamaa laulud (1927)
  • Puuslikud (1929)
  • Tuulesõel (1931)
  • Päike ja jõgi (1932)
  • Põhjavalgus (1938)
  • Tuule-ema (1942)
  • Esivanemate hauad (1946)
  • Ad astra (1947)
  • Periheel. Ingi raamat (1947)
  • Mare Balticum (1948)
  • Linnutee (1950)


  • Visnapuu's poems were used by composer Eduard Tubin in his Requiem for Fallen Soldiers (1979).[3]


  1. ^ Thompson, Lawrence S. (11 August 1953). "New Horizon: Modern Verse from Estonia". The Richmond News Leader. Richmond, VA. p. 11. Retrieved 26 April 2023 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  2. ^ "Henrik Visnapuu". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  3. ^ Webster, Daniel (30 August 1992). "Tubin by Estonians; Funk by the Heavies; Charm by Jennings". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, PA. p. 94. Retrieved 26 April 2023 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon

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