Keywords: Estonian poetry, Artur Alliksaar, rhyme, alliteration, sound and meaning
From the semiotic perspective, one can tentatively distinguish between two kinds of art – the first is semantically oriented and is involved in creating meaningful messages within the given art form, using ready-made means, while the second, syntactically oriented, aims at generating new possibilities within literary arts. Artur Alliksaar (1923–1966) represents both tendencies: he has created outstanding syllabic-accentual poems and prescribed poetic forms, especially sonnets, but in addition, he has enriched the Estonian poetic language with entirely new possibilities of sound instrumentation, which is particularly evident in his free-verse works.
The article has two objectives. Firstly, it presents one possible classification of Estonian sound instrumentation, considering both the structure and placement of relevant techniques within the text. This model is illustrated with examples from Artur Alliksaar’s poems, in which sound plays a structurally significant role. The paper examines the techniques used by Alliksaar, as well as their function. Secondly, case studies are conducted on the basis of archival materials, analyzing the draft versions of the poems to see how the author worked on and shaped the sound structure. The article looks into the corrections made by the author in the manuscripts and the possible motivation behind these changes.
The analysis reveals a clear regularity. Although his heavily sound-instrumented free-verse and accentual-syllabic poetry has often been regarded primarily as a play based on free associations within the language, lacking semantic structure and coherence, the study of drafts shows that Artur Alliksaar has consistently worked on multiple levels of the poem, taking into consideration not only the sound but also the semantic and rhythmic aspects. In addition to numerous repetitions at different levels, he regularly developed contrasts in both meaning and sound, creating a multi-layered play between sameness and difference.
Rebekka Lotman (b. 1978), PhD, University of Tartu, Institute of Cultural Research, Associate Professor of World Literature (Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu), firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria-Kristiina Lotman (b. 1974), PhD, University of Tartu, Associate Professor of Classical Philology (Lossi 3, 51003 Tartu), email@example.com
Mihhail Lotman (b. 1952), PhD, University of Tartu, Visiting Professor of Semiotics (Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu), firstname.lastname@example.org