Group of young literature critics Žirklionis

www.kamane.lt , 2009 12 29

In brief: The New Year’s Eve discussion of the group of young literature critics Žirklionis is about the best poetry books of the year: “Songs of Hetaerae” of Giedrė Kazlauskaitė and “These Skies of Ours” of Valdemaras Kukulas. The participants of the discussion are Mindaugas Grigaitis, Eglė Ruzgytė, Lina Staponaitė, Urtė Sakalytė, Loreta Varaniūtė.

Mindaugas: Even though the Book of the Year has not been selected yet, we saw in the Poetic Druskininkai Autumn that “Songs of Hetaerae” of Giedrė Kazlauskaitė and “These Skies of Ours” of Valdemaras Kukulas were announced the best poetry books of the year.

“Songs of Hetaerae” of G.Kazlauskaitė is a book with which I associated really many hopes. I expected original, bold and sharp poetry. Still, the world is narrowed down to the personal “I” in the book too much. It seems that the entire world is seen through the glass of the ego without trying to take a glance at things that exist apart of me.

Eglė: I agree with this opinion. When reading the aforementioned two selections of poems, I started questioning myself what poetry was and what its functions were. The selection of G.Kazlauskaitė is not persuasive enough. There is too much search for own identity, which seems too long in the works of G.Kazlauskaitė.

Urtė: Deciphering of contexts becomes irritating while reading “Songs of Hetaerae”.

Lina: Still, I found some poetry in this book – tiny flashes. This is why I started thinking whether I did not mistake combinations of words and images for poetry. Nonetheless, there is too much of needless talking about “babes” and their cares, amateur writing about amateur works, unclear contexts and images in the book.

Loreta: G.Kazlauskaitė almost surprised my sensitive naivety by harsh comparisons, eccentric gambados and drastic images.

Eglė: If I had to make a choice between “Songs of Hetaerae” and “These Skies of Ours” of Valdemaras Kukulas, I have to admit that the conception of poetry of the latter author is closer to me. Let him write about the high unreachable sky, homeland, loneliness and a duck cast by wind, the latter poet writes from his heart without attempts to follow nihilistic canons of the 21st century and the pose of (post)modern poetry.

Mindaugas: I agree that V.Kukulas succeeds to be more universal. His poetry is based on the established cultural tradition. I would distinguish three main themes in the selection: God, woman and morale. However, it appeared to me that the conversation is created by reminding thoughts heard many times before in the book. Poetry that is willing to stop time risks turning into sterile and dead. While G.Kazlauskaitė does not cross the borders of ego, V.Kukulas speaks about existence only according to truths enrooted in culture.

Eglė: I do not agree with Mindaugas accusing that V.Kukulas defends tradition blindly without renewing it. Perhaps he does not renew it but he writes sincerely. Doesn’t sincerely mean originally? I praise everyone who does not fear his/her natural, even though antique, feeling, who prohibits “desecration of a word” and who thinks before publishing selections of poems whether it would not be one more avalanche of words pressing down the reader. Poetry either exists or doesn’t. It is impossible to invent anything here, no matter what eloquence, expertise or arsenal of lexis you have.

Urtė: I believe that V.Kukulas basing his poetry on the Lithuanian tradition is better than the poetess of the young generation following the western European trends and using poetic images like in an advertisement.

Eglė: These are very strict statements. We should end the discussion in a nicer manner. Let us wish that G.Kazlauskaitė would distance from writing for “girls hypochondriacs” and that V.Kukulas would not be “the oak of several hundred years”. Let the next year be creative to all writers!

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