Romas Daugirdas

Miry Collection

Vladas Braziūnas. lėmeilėmeilėmeilė Vilnius: Vaga, 2002, 143 p.

While presenting the ninth poetry collection lėmeilėmeilėmeilė by Vladas Braziūnas, a poet of the middle generation, we would like to remind readers that this is not the first time he has appeared in this magazine. Three books by him, Alkanoji linksniuotė (The Hungry Conjugation, 1993), Užkalinėti (Boarded Up, 1998) and Ant balto dugno (On the White Bottom, 1999), were reviewed in the last issue, while some translations of his poetry were published in 2001.

We should point out that working on various editorial boards after studying the Lithuanian language and literature did not exhaust the poet’s lyre, although he has been complaining it did. It was only in recent years that he has devoted all his time to his creative work, which has the hallmark of high linguistic culture.

What might attract a foreign reader in the work of this poet? In my view, it could be the intersections of opposites. In form, Vladas Braziūnas’ work looks very modern: the author experiments daringly with language and syntax, he is characterised by a refined balancing of semantic fields. Yet behind all this, there hides an archaic world perception (or a stylisation of it) related to ancient agrarian culture. His attempts to break into dynamic urbanised spaces are not very successful. The artificial urban geometry disrupts the contours of the pantheistic world image.

The poet combines successfully the freedom of improvisation and the discipline of text. The initial impression of an involuntary flow (frequently quite miry) is deceptive. The poems are "carved" with a firm hand, and the occasional baroque flourish is ruthlessly checked.

A thick ethnic layer that highlights the peculiarities of the language, toponymy and customs of the area around Žiemgala where the poet was born sand out in all the collections, including the present one. Unfortunately, these can hardly be translated into other languages. He seems to be erecting a monument to things receding and disappearing, and attempts to spontaneously stop the flow.

The lexicon of this latest collection features more abstractions, yet they do not affect the prevailing texture of concrete empiricism. Rather, they signify attempts to tame the world, from a lump of soil to the most distant stars.
The Vilnius Review: magazine of the Lithuanian Writer’s Union. Spring - Summer 2003. - No 13. - P. 91-92.