Betti Alver

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Alver, Betti


(pseudonym of Elizabet Lepik). Born Nov. 23, 1906, in Jigeva. Soviet Estonian writer and translator.

Born into a worker’s family, Alver studied at the University of Tartu and published her first novel, Mistress of theWind, in 1927. She also wrote the short story “The Invalids” (1930), the narrative poem Song About a White Crow (1931), the poem in prose The Comedy of Poverty (1935), and the collection of poems Dust and Fire (1936). Her work is characterized by painstaking care with form and flexibility and lightness of language. She translated Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and M. Gorky’s Childhood and My Universities into Estonian.


Tähetund. Tallin, 1966.
In Russian translation:
In Antologiia estonskoi poezii, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Gustav Suits, Marie Under, Heiti Talvik, Betti Alver, Uku Masing & Aleksis Rannit Kuus eesti luuletajat: Six Estonian Poets Ed.
With her, a representative of the "Siuru" ("Bluebird") literary movement, as with most of her contemporaries and successors (up to the "Arbujad"/"Logomancers", or "Magicians", school of poets, emerging in the late 1930s and including Betti Alver, Heiti Talvik, Uku Masing, Bernard Kangro, August Sang), it appeared to be the case of a newborn literary self-consciousness establishing itself in a language which few had earlier taken seriously as a medium of belles-lettres.
The heritage of that period, throned by Marie Under and later also by Betti Alver (1906-1989), is uniquely and unapologetically national.
Supplied with Harris's foreword, the anthology consists of samples from folk poetry and Kalevipoeg, the leading poetic figures of the first national awakening (Lydia Koidula, 1843 1886, Karl Eduard Soot, 1862 1950), through the solitary Juhan Liiv (1864 1913) and the orientally meditative Ernst Enno (1875 1934) to representatives of the first (Gustav Suits, Marie Under, Henrik Visnapuu) and second generations (Heiti Talvik, Betti Alver, Bernard Kangro) of the Western-oriented currents of poetry, concluding with the promising new diction of Arved Viirlaid.
The English translations, representing the same poets, Gustav Suits, Marie Under, Heiti Talvik, Betti Alver, Uku Masing, and Aleksis Rannit, with the exclusion of two others, were done at some period in the 1960s while Oras was living in exile and working at foreign universities.
Mehis Heinsaar attracted attention in Estonia with his earliest short stories, and his first book, Vanameeste nappaja, received the prestigious Betti Alver award.
The poets whose work is represented in Windship with Oars of Light are nine: Betti Alver (1906-89), Artur Alliksaar (1923-66), Uku Masing (1909-85), Jaan Kaplinski (b.