Triin Soomets has a dark ‘psychographic’ writing style, critics have observed about her laconic and precise way of composing poetry. She is reserved and needs decoding; she is unique, very corporeal and has no taboos. What seems to be behind the feeling of discernable fragility and vulnerability in reading Soomets´ poetry is the weird spacelessness of her poems – the whole, gigantic universe is present, but no close supportive walls, and there is even the feeling of lacking safety – and this makes Soomets´ poetry especially effective.

Soomets was born in 1969 in Tallinn and studied Estonian philology at the University of Tartu. She made her debut in 1990 with the collection Sinine linn (The Blue City).

Her earlier poetic trajectory can be summed up most strikingly in the collection Soon (Vein, 2000), which contains poems written over a 10-year period, 1989–1999; from three collections published in the first half of the nineteen-nineties and a fourth, Pidurdusjälg (Skid Mark), in 1999. Soomets’ way of expressing herself seems to become more polished, more restrained and more defiant.

In 2004 her Toormaterjal (Raw Material) was awarded the prize of the cultural weekly Sirp and most intensively reflects her way of writing: emotionally tense, intimate, social, metaphysical. Also Leping nr 2 (Covenant Number 2. Poems 2000–2003) appeared that year, and showed a different kind of poetry: shorter, sometimes in the haiku form, sensual, powerful and passionate, very feminine.
Somewhat surprising, but nonetheless welcome, was her participation in Kaardipakk (Pack of Cards, 2001), which features a common pack of cards and the cooperation of five well-known young poets (alongside Soomets are Karl Martin Sinijärv, Asko Künnap, Elo Viiding and Jürgen Rooste).
Kaardipakk and its sequel, Kaardipakk Kaks (Pack of Cards II, 2006) are the only literary games played by Soomets so far. Not for her is the ‘Poem of the Week’ column in some newspaper, although she seems capable of it and one can imagine a poem written by her – perhaps on some political subject – as the brightest star, or indeed the black hole, of the poetry corner.
Although Soomets does not enjoy public attention, but rather shuns it, it is not difficult to explain her importance in the sphere of contemporary Estonian literature. On the one hand, Soomets’ poetry offers moments of recognition – one can sense the currents of symbolism and neo-Romanticism. Sometimes one can perceive echoes of Lorca and Baudelaire in her words and images. On the other hand, there is no other poetry that is as panoramic and physical as hers.

In a word, Triin Soomets’ poetry is a world of opposites. It is a universe which is at the same time centrifugal and centripetal. Here pleasure and pain, love and destruction, body and metaphor, love and consciousness, love and meaning clash. Meaning and the suppression of meaning are only half a step apart. Snow burns and flames are blue. In the space of a couple of lines we encounter singing, praying and rape. Soomets’ poetry constitutes a harmony of which it would be impossible to conceive without her.


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