Poet Giedrė Širvytė, "I would like to write only one book during my entire life" 2

Enrika Striogaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2015-07-28
Poet Giedrė Širvytė. Vytautas Tamoliūnas photo

In brief: People interested in the literature of Giedrė Širvytė generation know her well - they remember her strong poems that took everyone’s attention. It could be argued that G. Širvytė is one of the most talented poets of her generation, most probably forgotten by today's literary world, because after publishing her first poetry book two decades ago, Giedrė sort of disappeared.

You can meet her in Kaunas, at the Liberty Avenue (she lives right next to it). She can easily be recognized in the crowd - elegantly dressed in black, showing with her whole being that she is guided by the supreme values in everything. In literature as well. She used to hold readings, participate in the literary evenings and then disappeared. I wanted to know why she got silent and whether she had stopped writing.

Giedrė explains, "My first book In the city of dream, was officially released in 1994. Twenty one years has passed. That is a lot. During the time I gained a lot of painful experience, which helped realize the impermanence of everything in this world into which we were thrown by fate. The temporality and vanity. And, of course, its unique beauty. I mean nature. It is more beautiful and real to me than most people. So sometimes, watching silent signs of nature and the world, I write them down without pretending to the name of the poet or recognition. I have no ambition to print those rare "moments of enlightenment." I do not see any point in participating in the evenings and other literary events. I had witnessed plenty of such events (amateur, graphomaniac) when working in Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum.

I wanted to know what poetry is to Giedrė Širvytė and how important it is to her. She says that she does not know what poetry is, "I know only one thing, that no art is possible without romanticism and looking back at our dramatic existence. Fancy things, frivolous games in poetry - although it probably also requires a certain type of talent - are foreign to me. I will never be and I do not want to be popular, thinking and believing that everything that is real is born out of suffering, sorrow, longing and poverty."

The poet is her harshest critic but I still wonder if there is any hope in seeing her second book published. Giedrė Širvytė says that it is not that important - whether her second book will come out or not. She asks, "Would it save anyone’s world? I do not think so. So why is it important to publish it? It is important to write it so, that you would not be ashamed of yourself. I would cross many things out of my first book. I would like to write only one book during my entire life. Let it have a dozen poems, but they would be unforgettable, as poet Rimas Burokas poems are to me.


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