Lithuanian adult literature

Antanas Vaičiulaitis


Diplomat, writer, translator.
(23th June, 1906 – 22th July, 1992)


Antanas Vaičiulaitis belonged to the generation of 30’s. He was distinguished for his bright humanistic point of view and attention to the perfection of the aesthetic form.
Vaičiulaitis is one of the brightest representatives of the Lithuanian Christian humanism in literature, and can be compared with famous 20th century Italian and French masters of literature such as Giovanni Pappini, André Maurois, François Mauriac. The pseudonym of A. Vaičiulaitis was Aug. Raginis. The best-known novel - “Valentina”.

Paulius Širvys

( 6th September, 1920 – 27th March, 1979)
Lithuanian Poet.


From early days he was writing poems that are special with their pure and strong feelings, simple imagery of traditional structure, connection of pathetic, dreamy and humoristic intonations, plenty springs of action of folklore and hold of traditional songs. The dominant theme of Paulius Širvys is impression from the Second World war . His poetry is full of emotional humanity warmth. There are many famous songs with P. Širvys lyrics.


· In 1973 the poet received the national literature prize for his selection of poems “Ilgesys – ta giesmė”.

Paulius Širvys
„I am a Birch”

I’m – a birch.
A Lithuanian birch,
From the lea of the night,
I stopped

On the biggest road
Of the battle
With steel scythe
On my shoulder.

Both storm,
And serenity,
Everything blown away –
I hear
On silently evenings,
How are unfolding
The nights
In green moonlight
With white burgeons
Of the peep of dawn.

Like marigold
broke up rummers –
Fell down
From my heart.

I’ve blown away everything,
Smoking with mist,
I’m drinking
Green wine
Of the night.
I drink
Green silence
And the green pinewood,
I drink and dizzily walk.

Not pitty
Of gold,
Not pitty
Of silver.
Just pitty
Of the blown away days.


Not all
Is drunk off.
And not all
Is drunk away.
I’m the governer
Of rich treasures.

I have
My own joy.
I have
My own pain.
Come, -
I can give a present to you as well.

Doesn’t suit you.
Doesn’t suit neither.
Nor the words suit you,
Which are filled with sweetness.

This gold.
This silver.

And diamonds
Are fictitious too.

But nights
Will throw out
In the green moonlight
With white burgeons
Of the peep of down…

Come –
I will hug you,
I’ll take you to my heart.
I will adorn you
With luminary
Earings of night.

You will come by,
Like happiness does.
I just won’t berate
My fate.

I’m – a birch.
A Lithuanian birch,
With steeling scythe
On my shoulder.

„At the night of May”

Just me
And May
Came to the forest
Rills are splashing
By wastes.

Bird cherries
Are nestling
In the green moonlight
With rosy
Of breasts.

As golden
Split glasses
Are falling down
From my heart.

I forgot everything
And I am free
Like a bird.
I am drinking
Green wine
Of the night.
I am drinking
Green silence,
I am drinking
green forest.
I am drinking
And my head
Is getting fuddle.
I'm going, But I’m not alone.
Somebody is telling me
To my ears
All night long
That the love of the forest is alive.

Children literature

Kostas Kubilinskas

(1st July, 1923 – 9th March, 1962)
Lithuanian poet.


Since 1938 poetry of K. Kubilinskas has been published in magazines for children. Poetry for children is melodic and harmonic, which is regarded to children psichology. Author has written plays for children, he has published parodies of other famous authors. K. Kubilinskas has also published a set of satyric poetry. In the Soviet times, his poetry was translated to Spanish, Latvian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian and other languages.


· In 1959 the author received the national prize for writings for children.

Ramutė Skučaitė


(27th November, 1931)
Poet, dramaturge, translator, a member of the union of Lithuanian writers.


In 1949 R. Palčinskaitė was exiled to Siberia, studied at Irkutsk foreign language university. From 1953 to 1954 she worked as a teacher in Zima. In 1956 she came back to Lithuania. From 1956 to 1959 studied French language and literature. The writer worked in “Elta“, “Genys”, “Žvaigždutė”, “Vakarinės naujienos” editorial offices. Since 1969 she was a member of the union of Lithuanian writers.


· In 1980 the poet received Lithuanian Komsomol prize for a book of poems for children called “Žvangučiai”.
· In 2001 “Takelis iš naujo” was recognized as one of the most beautiful book of the year by Lithuanian Ministry of Culture.

Martynas Vainilaitis

(26th January, 1933 – 20th June, 2006 )
Lithuanian poet, writer, translator.

Martynas Vainilaitis graduated from the Vilnius State Conservatory Theatre department. For a couple of years he worked as an actor, later devoted himself to creativity. In the summertime poet lived and wrote in Vaitakartis village.
· The poet received Lithuanian national prize for the collection of poems “Mano volungėlė”.

Martynas Vainilaitis

Rosy shadows
Are moving to the coast.
Waves are sailing
To the yellow coast.
And sun is giving
Her golden hand,
The golden hand
Across the whole sea.
She is stroking my face
With golden fingers.
She is sinking to the deep
When she becomes tired.
Just let her rest...
Anglers will sail from the haven
To the sea,
To the immence distances.
The brave will sail away
They are brothers of Kastytis.
They will fish all night long
And they will catch the sun in the net
For me.
They will drift it home,
They will let her shine,
They will change her to glow.

Violeta Palčinskaitė
(20th November, 1943)
Poet and playwright.

From 1960 to 1964 the poet studied history and philology in Vilnius university. When she was seventeen, she published her first collection of poems “Žemė kėlė žolę”. The biggest part of her works is dedicated to children. Also the author has translated many works of famous world writers and British folk tales.

· In 1966 the poet was awarded with the national Komsomol prize for a play for children “Ri – Ku Ta - Ku”.
· In 1982 she received an international golden medal in children and youth festival (in Italy) for a script of a movie “Andrius”.
· In 2003 she was awarded with the Knight's Cross of the Vytautas Magnus order.

Violeta Palčinskaitė
Even restless wind
However has home.
Soft and light bottom of the sea.
Green weed of the deep is like a good place to sleep
Storm – the Mother of the wind is whishpering to him,
While she is swaying the young wind:
Take a rest in silence, my son,
Because the ships are already setting the sails.
Because later – I’ve heard it myself,
They’re gonna need a happy wind.
Take a rest, while you can.
While you aren’t in a faraway land.
Green weed is like a bed for you, -
It’s our home – It’s the bottom of the deep.

Resumptive work

„Nature in lithuanian literature“

Each nation has its own literature, and it is no secret that nature plays an important role in it. Many writers, poets have found the inspiration in it. Each of the creators portrayed the nature in a different way, paid attention to different things, and also they created to different readers (some of them for children, others for adults) and by different types (epic, lyrics).
In the children's literature, nature is particularly important. It is the axis around which all the lines revolve. Kostas Kubilinskas, Ramutė Skučaitė, Martynas Vainilaitis and Violeta Palčinskaitė are poets who wrote for children. Works of art created by women are rich in diminutive word (R. Skučaitė "Žvangučiai" - "Obelėlė"; V. Palčinskaitė "Namai namučiai“ – “Rudenėlis”). These words give an amount of playfulness to their works. Topic of the seasons, months, weather, plants and animal subjects dominate in the works. It is also rich with sound imitations (V. Palčinskaitė poem "Lietučio pasaka": "Ci-ku ca-ku, tu-ku tu-ku "). However, in the works of men, without previously mentioned topics there is one more: human and nature. It is unfolded by playful dialogues in various situations (eg: In M. Vainilaitis book "Mano Volungėlė", poem "Ežio namas", next to all animals is involved and man - forester). Overall, children's literature is very playful and simply rhymed.
It isn’t difficult to compare the adult and children literature – almost everything is the opposite. Rhyme is much more complicated, there isn’t so much jocosity. Nature in the adult literature is often a source of the empathy, many objects and symbols are used and they are identified with a man. Paulius Širvys is one of the many Lithuanian poets who wrote about nature. A common symbol in his lines is a tree. Particularly much attention is paid to a birch. In Lithuanian poetry a birch is a tree growing single in a green-field, anticipating for someone. A tree, which is running in the team of other trees and is singing like in “Gegužinė”. It is like a boy with a pretty hat on his head . According to the poet Valdas Kukulis, “Paulius Širvys is a poet of quiet sadness, crystal longing and nobleness loneliness." It’s not difficult to find a similarity between the symbolic meaning of the birch and the poet, so we can adjudicate that a birch is P. Širvys himself in his lines.
In the case of prose, a writer Antanas Vaičiulaitis is worth mentioning. Literature critic Albertas Zalatorius says, "The main feature of Vaičiulaitis creativity is the orientation on the eternal, stable things, cleaned from time deposits, purified and tested.” Nature was very important in works of Vaičiulaitis. Nature is eternal, stable, purified and tested. It has been, still is and will be. It is stable, although with regularly changing seasons, wind directions, we feel the nature by our senses.
We grew up with the children's literature. We know it with the playful, beautiful and simple sounds. Later, when we grow older, we notice natural symbols, hidden messages in the works, we see the nature in a different way. In any case, nature is extremely important to literature. It is the axis around which everything evolves. It is the mother and muse of literature.

Italian literature

Alexander Langer

(1946-1995) Italian journalist, peace activist, politician, translator and teacher.

His life:

A. Langer was born in Bolzano, Italy.He joined the Green Party in Bolzano and became member of the regional council for Trentino Alto Adige in 1978.He became member of the European Parlament and president of the Greens in the European Parliament in 1989.He became involved in peace initiatives in EuropeHe served as representative of the EP in Israel, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Libya, Egypt, Malta. He was particularly involved campaigning for peace in former Yugoslavia.
His thought:

In order to live in this world, we must respect the environment.A conversion to ecology will take place only if it appears to be socially desireable.Wealth is just as dangerous as poverty.Development must be eco-sustainableWe have to look for ecologically-fair politics.There is no major revolutionary act of liberation which opens the way to ecological change.

Instead, compromises and provisional steps are indispensable as is the patient labour of persuasion.Ecological politics can only become effective on the basis of cultural and civilising convictions.Important impulses for this can come from religious and ethical, social and aesthetic, traditional and ethnic (i.e. based on the history and identity of a people) motives.Any discussion about a turning point is pointless as long as growth remains the main economic aim.

The industrialised world has finally to take zero-growth and an eventual reduction seriously, which, of course, should happen carefully and gradually in order to avoid social or ecological collapse.The regeneration of regional economies makes it possible for clearer budget management for all those involved and a more balanced eco-result.Both entrepreneurs and consumers should take note of the real costs of large-scale transport of goods, plastic packaging, energy wastage, the use of raw materials, water pollution and so on.We need a fundamental norm to measure environmental impact: for a motorway, a rocket, biotechnology, forms of energy production or the introduction of a new chemical substance, and so on.As long as economies are governed exclusively through money channels, it is very difficult to respect ecological criteria and this leads to social injustice: those who can pay, can also pollute.Ecologically meaningful self-limitation is more convincing when you see yourself involved in a partnership which mirrors world-wide interdependence. If we want to create and embody a social desire for environmentally sustainable life and production, then we could probably start by first imagining a “Magna Carta” for the environment.