23 February 2018
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Poet Kazys Bradunas (1917-2009)

Poet Kazys Bradunas (1917-2009)

Today we are pleased to introduce you to Kazys Bradunas (1917-2009), a distinguished Lithuanian poet who, living in exile in the US during the Soviet occupation of his country, became one of the most active figures in preserving a national literary culture.
Bradunas was born in the village of Kirsai in southwestern Lithuania, coincidentally also the birthplace of the noted prewar woman poet Salomeja Neris. A year after his birth, in the turmoil following the Russian Revolution, Lithuania declared its independence. Bradunas began to write poetry while still a schoolboy. He studied Lithuanian language and literature at universities in Kaunas and Vilnius, and his first volume of verse, The Bells of Vilnius, was published in 1943. By then, however, Lithuania’s independence had been ended by successive Soviet and Nazi invasions. In 1944, when Soviet troops reoccupied Lithuania, Bradunas left the country, living in a camp for displaced persons in Germany before ultimately emigrating in 1949 to the US.

Resident in Baltimore and Chicago, Bradunas worked tirelessly to sustain a Lithuanian literature. He was a founder of the Zeme (“Earth”) movement, which sought to create a distinctively Lithuanian poetry, rooted in agriculture and local customs. He co-edited a Zeme anthology published in 1951.
In his own verse he drew on the rhythms of folk music and used descriptions of simple, specific objects to evoke Lithuania and its culture, focusing on its rural landscapes and its blend of pagan and Catholic heritage. Naturally, given the tragic national experience, his work was often elegiac: the title of his first published volume after leaving Lithuania, The Alien Bread (1945), aptly expressed the sense of dislocation experienced by the exile and captured in Bradunas’s poetry. Nevertheless, there was at times a note of triumph in verse which celebrated the flourishing of Lithuanian writers abroad:

Exiled poets are — desert cactuses.
They receive no moisture;
Sand surrounds them, 
Yet they grow and bloom 
Spiny red blossoms. 
(translated by Jurgis Bradunas)


                  For Loreta and Jurgis

The river comes flowing
And brings with it a name.
Man comes forward
And brings with him a surname
A toponym appears:
A cross is constructed,
Smoke rises from a chimney.
In this way Suduva was born,
Absorbed into our hearts.

A daughter comes forward
And brings with her a fire.
A son comes forward
And brings with him bread.
At the shore of another world,
In the shade of another sky
And another tree
A table is constructed,
A loaf is sliced
Life begins.
Put your clasped hands
On the ancient table
And let the blossoms bloom.

(translated by Rita Dapkus)


You brought in the sun for me
Past the smoky door jamb
Now I can hardly remember
How you knocked with a stone
At my cradle
While all around, like a dream you'd lost,
Awakened the forests of Rominta. 

Then you put the sun for me
Like a transfigured breadloaf on the table
And the linen paled.
Then life's long
Ceremony began,
In which, like the censer's grains,
Smelled the blossoms of Rominta.

Where are you now, little sun,
Snuffed, carried out, buried?
Will I touch the earth with my forehead
Asking, can I
Knock with a stone
At your coffin
There, where late in the evening
Rustle the forests of Rominta. 

(translated by Jonas Zdanys)

Category : Culture & events poetry / Opinions

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مبلمان اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری میز اداری وبلاگدهی فروشگاه اینترنتی گن لاغری شکم بند لاغری تبلیغات کلیکی آموزش زبان انگلیسی پاراگلایدر ساخت وبلاگ بوی دهان بوی بد دهان