Birthplace of Paul Haavaoks

Paul Haavaoksa, Värska, Setomaa vald, 64001

The road between the Värska church and the old cemetery leads along Paul Haavaoksa Street. Paul Haavaoks (1924-1883) is the most famous poet of Setomaa. His actual birthplace is located a bit away from here, but you can walk there along the Haavaoksa Street (marked on the map).

Haavaoks started writing poetry in his teen years, but the times were hard and he could not focus fully on poetry before 1955. He took up many different jobs to earn his income. In 1947 he joined the Young Communist League to build a hydropower station in Leevaku. He soon became the leader of the Järvesuu brigade. Juhan Smuul, a famous Estonian poet whom Haavaoks met at the construction site, encouraged and inspired young Paul to write more poetry.

Paul Haavaoks cared deeply for folk traditions and Seto leelo, the singing tradition of the Seto people. He considered Seto leelo to be valuable and worth safeguarding long before the rest of the world realized its value. He was one of the people who brought the Seto Leelo Days back to life. The poetry of Haavaoks is largely poetry about nature and is still much loved among the local people.

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Paul Haavaoksa, Värska, Setomaa vald, 64001