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Original Text

                                                          Lesiai Ukrainkai

 

klausykit to, kurs krūpčioja nuo menkiausio garso

sekite įkandin, būkite romūs ir budrūs

 

kalbėjomės – apie ką? apie akacijų skaidrų medų

apie tyliąsias darbo ir atilsio valandas

apie matmenis, begalybę vis dalančius

dalyti mėginančius, o beviltiškai, ką tu išgriebsi

jūrą iš lašo ar laštako, iš aprasojusio lašinio bryzo

brizo, lengvučio vėjo, dvelksmas – kuo išmatuotinas?

gal apie jį kalbėjomės? laikas jau buvo atodrėkis

laikas žydėjo, snigo, ilgų nežadėjo metų, nekalbėjo apie ligas

virė uogienes, skaitė, vertė eilėraščius, gydytis kaulų

džiovos važiavo į Druskininkus, druskos

parsivežė Lvovan, pati

sukristalėjo į klasikę

druska – į mylimą miestą, panašų į Vilnių, pilną

kalvų ir kalbų, ir tautų, beirkluojančių miestą kas sau, tarpais

po rūką klajojančių, tarpais

įsauly besiirstančių, užsisvajojusių, tarpstančių

irstančių, tarpais į gailią rasą pavirstančių, nė nesuprasi

druska ar skirstančių nuospaudų šármas

išsiskirstė po mano kiaurus

kaulus ir plaukus, virto į šarmą, romantiškai

šnekant, o paprasčiau – į žilę, virto į ataugą

ant mažylio, į Bitės kuprą, vis tiek – į skaidrų akacijų medų

English

a short history of time
Translated by Jonas Zdanys

                                                  For Lesya Ukrainka

 

listen to him who flinches from the slightest sound

follow him closely, be vigilant and meek

 

we talked – about what? about clear acacia honey

about the quiet hours of work and rest

about dimensions, eternity constantly dividing

those who try to divide, but hopelessly, what will you fish out

the ocean from a drop or gutter-pipe, from a dew-covered snow-drip breeze

draft, light wind, waft – measured by what?

 

perhaps we talked about him?  time was already a thaw

time blossomed, snowed, did not promise long years, did not discuss illness

cooked preserves, read, translated poems, to treat tuberculosis

of the bones traveled to Druskininkai, brought

salt to Lvov, crystalized

herself into classical

salt – into a beloved city much like Vilnius, filled with

hills and languages, and nations, a city of rowers, at times

rambling through fog, at times

stroking through sunlight, lost in dreams, the periodically

sculling, at times transfiguring into merciful dew, none will understand

salt or the lye of cracking calluses

dispersed itself in my perforated

bones and hair, turned into hoarfrost, romantically

speaking, or more commonly – into grayness, turned into a growth

on the little toe, into the Bee’s humpback, and still – into clear acacia honey

  • Country in which the text is set
    Lithuania, Ukraine
  • Featured locations

    Druskininkai
    Lviv
    Vilnius

  • Impact

    The poem is dedicated to Larysa Petrivna Kosach-Kvitka (Ukrainian: Лариса Петрівна Косач-Квітка) (February 25 [O.S. February 13] 1871 – August 1 [O.S. July 19] 1913) better known under her literary pseudonym Lesya Ukrainka (Ukrainian: Леся Українка), was one of Ukraine's best-known poets and writers and the foremost woman writer in Ukrainian literature. She also was a political, civil, and female activist (http://www.languagelanterns.com/ukrainka.htm; http://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:Lesia-Ukrainka-Berlin.JPG). The poet subtly links time parallels – the past and the present – entwining the biography of the poetess and inscribing the name of Lithuania into the text of the poem. Lesya Ukrainka was ill with bone tuberculosis and took treatment from this disease in various countries including health resort Druskininkai in Lithuania.

    The poet metaphorically associates a salt therapy with salt as the material which can crystalize and turn into a solid shape – “crystalized herself into classical“. The landscape (hilly cities), multicultural population, a variety of spoken languages become connecting elements to draw parallels between Vilnius and Lvov.

    An unexpected parallel ties the Lithuanian writer Marija Petkevičaitė Bitė and Lesya Ukrainka. After her operation Lesya’s arm was lame. In his poetic texts Braziūnas mentions Bitė – the Lithuanian writer who also had a disability – a humpback.

  • Balticness

    The poem does not provide a direct relation with the Baltic region but historically for a long time the Ukraine belonged to the Great Duchy of Lithuania and Polish Kingdom – the area in which Lesya Ukrainka was born and abided. The only connecting word is the sea – until now there is a popular phrase that the duke Vytautas Magnus governed the lands from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

    Braziūnas‘s poem embraces more – cultures, languages, and a feeling of community.

  • Bibliographic information
    Braziūnas, Vladas. Vakar yra rytoj. – Vilnius: Lietuvių kalbos ir literatūros institutas, 2007.
  • Translations
    Language Year Translator
    English 2008 Jonas Zdanys
    Polish 2006 Izabela Korybut-Daszkiewicz
    Russian 2006 Georgy Jefremov
  • Year of first publication
    2007
  • Place of first publication
    Vilnius