In 2022, the 155th anniversary of the birth and 130th anniversary of the death of Latvian poetry classic Eduard Veidenbaum is celebrated. For more than a century, Veidenbaums has been an important point of reference and a source of influence for the further development of Latvian literature. However, there is reason to think that Veidenbaum's always witty and passionate poetry will be able to appeal to representatives of other nations as well. So far, only one poem by Eduards Veidenbaums has been translated in English, but in the new selection, translated by Ieva Lešinska, you can read 52 translations of poems specially prepared for this selection.
Veidenbaums’s writings are so few that, instead of a multifaceted literary legacy, they should be seen as a whole, where the contours of various socio-political developments, transformations of style and poetics, and variations of themes can be outlined. It is a powerful eruption, which by now has firmly settled as a cultural stratum, and, despite the number of words in the corpus being limited, they have had, and are still having, far-reaching consequences. There are those that could argue that Veidenbaums has, both artistically in poetry and intellectually in journalism, grasped the influence of history on the Latvian mentality, becoming, as it were, the most self-evident poet to have written in this peasant language. Others would say that his texts capture a much broader swath of human patterns.Raimonds Ķirķis