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Fragments of 30 poems add depth to city streets

A poetry trail consisting of fragments of thirty poems by Estonian poets will be completed on the streets of Tallinn, which will tour the entire city to offer pedestrians a more varied cultural and urban space experience.

"I am glad that such a playful street art project has been born in cooperation between the urban art curator and young poets, highlighting the work of both well-known authors and younger poets in the places that have inspired these verses," said Kaarel Oja, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn. "There is room in Tallinn for both larger and smaller street art projects, and any such venture that brings "color“ to urban space is worth doing."

The Tallinn Poetry Trail was compiled by young poets Elisabeth Heinsalu and Reijo Roos in cooperation with the city of Tallinn. The creation of the poetry trail has also been supported by all the district governments of Tallinn, the Estonian Cultural Endowment, the Grano printing house and the Estonian Artists' Association.

“The Tallinn Poetry Trail consists of 30 poetry fragments that make their way around the entire Hanseatic city. These are vital small moments that force the big city to stop for a while in the middle of endless currents, ”explained Reijo Roos, one of the compilers of the poetry trail and the head of the youth section of the Estonian Writers' Union. "The lines of poetry relate to specially chosen locations, and among the authors, in addition to many new creators, there are also familiar names from Maarja Kangro to Tõnu Õnnepalu."

On the poetry trail, for example, the verses of Tõnu Õnnepalu, chosen to characterize the highest peak in Tallinn, Oleviste Church, are “and even higher is the light / and the churches stretch their crosses / so that the light kisses them”, Carolina Pihelga haiku comments at Mustamäe Männi Park: “this is our / local mustamäe / Eden garden” and the lines of Timo Maran can be found on the Lindakivi bridge: "A good companion (here in the stone house of prayer) is our restless, / thousand-eyed city."

According to Kati Ots, curator of Tallinn's urban art, creating a friendlier city and more accessible culture is part of Tallinn's long-term development strategy. “The Poetry Trail cleverly combines literature, art and a more human-centered city using minimalist tools. The poems written on the streets offer the locals a fresh joy of discovery and exciting moments of sightseeing on their daily walk, making walking around the city more exciting and enjoyable, ”said Ots. "Such grassroots initiatives play a small but very important role in making the streets more pleasant. We look forward to continuing to support such ventures in the future. ”

The initiative covers all districts, and in four of them, residents also put poetic streets to the vote in the 2021 inclusive budget. The Poetry Trail Map is available online here: