Lauri Sommer

by Aare Pilv

Lauri Sommer (b 1973) is a poet and musician who made his debut in poetry in the mid- 1990s in the literary group Erakkond. Today, he is one of the most fascinating and original poets of his generation. He has published three collections of poetry: Laurila (1998), Raagraamis poiss (A Boy in Twigframe, 2001, poetry of 1990-92) and Nõidade õrnus (Tenderness of Enchanters, 2004). In his last book, Sommer’s expressive and visionary free verse has achieved special forcefulness, describing the ability for perception and love that reach way beyond our ordinary world. Religious and ‘bewitching’ tones have always been present in Sommer’s work, but they have now become a deeply perceived conscious field of movement that is quite unique in contemporary Estonian poetry. Sommer has also been involved in music, from punk bands to old music, from ambient computer music to simple piano compositions; in 2004 he issued the record Piimaš. Sommer has an MA in literature; his work on the backgrounds of the work of Uku Masing, Estonian theologian, visionary and poet appeared in the literary magazine ‘Looming’ in 2004. His research on Masing is a significant contribution in explaining and interpreting the phenomenon of this particular Estonian genius. Masing’s beliefs and interests have influenced Sommer’s understanding of the world as well, although he has remained an independent creative person with an original world of images and intensity.  The essay about Dictaphone shamanism also reveals Sommer’s peculiar and many-sided vision of life that is always magical and tense, like in a dream.