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Profile of the Day: Marie Under

Today we remember Estonian poet Marie Under, who was born on this day in 1883. Considered one of Estonia’s great poets of the 20th century, Under has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature multiple times, but has never won.

Image: Marie Under / Wikimedia Commons

Born in what is today Tallinn, Estonia, Under learned to read at the age of 4 and began writing her own poetry by the age of 14. She first wrote her poetry in German, but was later encouraged by Estonian artist Ants Laikmaa, a cultural nationalist, to begin writing in her native language of Estonian. She spent time working for a radical newspaper and had many of her poems published. During Estonia’s struggle for independence, Under became an important voice both during the War of Independence and after.

By 1940, the Soviet Union had occupied Estonia and began a purge of Estonian nationalists and anti-communists. In 1944, Under and her husband, poet Artur Adson, escaped to Sweden where she would live the rest of her life in exile.

Explore Marie Under’s family tree and share your connection to the Estonian poet!

View Marie Under’s Geni Profile

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