A Stringed Wing

The celestial sounds of a zither make me think of a wing strung with vibrating strings. In myths of Estonia, Vanemuine — the God of Music and Poetry — played the kannel, a zither or lap-harp with magical effects that gave birds and tree-leaves their songs. I have sung these old tunes to the sound of the kannel, or sometimes, I’ve simply let the strings of my own vocal cords spill verse upon verse into air.

The naturalistic and historic motifs of Estonia have long inspired and chained me. Many of my poems and lyrical writings hold them.

As I write this now, I recall that my mother’s earliest memories hold the quiet sounds of her father, a furniture-maker, stroking the strings of his own-made kannel as she and her brother, Sass, drifted to sleep upstairs.