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Syndic Literary Journal

Worldwide Silence 2011

Written by Andres Ehin

Translated from the Estonian by Ilmar Lehtpere 

Narrated by Bill Wolak

Crows dance on the tin roof 

Scratching and croaking 

Church bells ring beyond the great bog 

But a chirping resonates 

even louder 

It is as if a giant cricket 

were jumping 

from one blushing cloud to another 

and sawing 

                   its fiddle 


The chirping mingles 

with the scent of clover 

The name for this mingling is quietening 

could just as well be silence 

It draws into itself 

all sounds and dissolves them 


Worldwide chirping 

worldwide quietening 

and silence 


Only on the Arctic Ocean 

is there silence of a particular sort 

It is glaring white 

bear-fur silence 

Endless silence 

without quietening 

                    before the final  

                                end of the world 




ANDRES EHIN (1940-2011) was a leading Estonian poet who published novels, short stories, plays, film scripts and translations in addition to his poetry. His work has been translated into 34 languages. His most recent English publication is Shortening the Candle’s Wick with Ly Seppel (Carcanet, 2018). 
ILMAR LEHTPERE is an Estonian poet and translator. His most recent translations into English are On the Edge of a Sword  by Kristiina Ehin (Arc, 2018),  and Shortening the Candle’s Wick by Andres Ehin and Ly Seppel (Carcanet, 2



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