Shortening the Candle's Wick

Ehin website cover.jpg
Ehin website cover.jpg

Shortening the Candle's Wick


Ly Seppel & Andres Ehin

translated by Ilmar Lehtpere

By turns surreal, political, folkloric and rootedly domestic, Shortening the Candle’s Wick is a window into the imaginative world of a poetic relationship. 

For over forty years, husband and wife Andres Ehin and Ly Seppel lived together in Estonia writing poetry. Ehin’s style is that of the surrealist – “a connector of the unconnectable” – whilst Seppel is a poet of the fleeting moment, the glance of language across it.

Translator Ilmar Lehtpere has compiled a selection of translations in the form of a poetic dialogue between husband and wife, incorporating larger discussions of poet and language, nation and self.

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LY SEPPEL was born in Haapsalu, Estonia in 1943. She received a degree in Estonian literature from the University of Tartu and studied Turkic languages in Baku (Azerbaijan) and Moscow. She has published five books of poetry, two children’s books as well as numerous translations of poetry and prose into Estonian from various languages including Turkish, Azerbaijani, Russian and Finnish. She has received a number of literary prizes.

ANDRES EHIN was born in Tallinn, Estonia in 1940. He studied Finno-Ugric Languages at the University of Tartu. After finishing university in 1964, he went on an expedition to Siberia to acquaint himself with the language and folk poetry of the Ostyak-Samoyeds. He began writing poetry in 1958 and published sixteen volumes of poetry, two short novels, a book of short stories, plays, radio plays, film scripts and numerous translations from various languages, including Finnish, French, English and Russian. His work can be described as surrealist. His work has been translated into 34 languages. He died on 10 December 2011.

ILMAR LEHTPERE has translated twenty books of Estonian literature, mostly poetry, into English. His translations of Kristiina Ehin’s work have won several prizes, including the Poetry Society Popescu Prize. Wandering Towards Dawn is a volume of English versions of his own work along with poems by Sadie Murphy. It has been translated into Macedonian and Romanian.

Title: Shortening the Candle's Wick

Author: Ly Seppel & Andres Ehin

Size: 216 x 138mm

Binding: Hardback

Page Count: 98pp

ISBN: 978 0 9935056 7 6

Price: £12.99

Publication date: 8 March 2018

ANDRES EHIN and LY SEPPEL married in 1975. The poet Kristiina Ehin is their daughter. The poems in this selection were written over a period of fifty years. They have been arranged in the form of a poetic dialogue between the authors.