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Early Indo-European Texts

Lithuanian

Virginija Vasiliauskiene and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Lithuanian with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Baltic Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Lithuanian language and its speakers' culture.

In the Shadow of the Altars, by Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas

Pirmàsis galimùmas bùvo visái mèsti tą̃ poèziją ir̃ visàs tàs svajonès. Taĩ bū́tų tinkamiáusias ir̃ paprasčiáusias kláusimo sprendìmas. Bèt Vasãris nùjautė, kàd jìs vargù ar̃ pajė̃gs išsižadė́ti tų̃ vilčių̃, kuriõs ìš daliẽs jį̃ į̃ seminãriją àtvedė. Seminãrijos gyvẽnimas, tiesà, gerókai jàs apgrióvė, tačiaũ tuo pačiù metù jisaĩ vìs dėlto pamãtė turį̃s tãlentą. Ir̃ dabar̃ vìsko išsižadė́ti? Nè, taĩ negãlimas dáiktas.

Antràsis galimùmas siū́lė jám sudẽrinti kūrýbą sù kùnigišku gyvẽnimu. Bèt kaĩp? Lig šiõl jám taĩ nepavỹko. Jìs žinójo ir̃ tikė́jo, kàd Diẽvas yrà visókios tobulýbės, grõžio ir̃ kilniáusios poèzijos šaltìnis. Bèt kodė̃l visì relìginiai, doróviniai, amžinõsios tiesõs, gė̃rio ir̃ grõžio motỹvai jį̃ palìkdavo šáltą kaĩp lẽdą, õ kūrýbinis lỹrinis susijáudinimas vèsdavo į̃ gyvẽnimo žabángas ir̃ pavojùs?

Õ trečiàsis galimùmas tuõ metù jám bùvo dár tìk pradė́jęs aiškė́ti. Jõ patiẽs prãktika ródė jám, kàd "kunigãvimas" ir̃ "poetãvimas" yrà dù visái skirtìngi, jéigu nè príešingi, pašaukìmai. Tàd kám juõs būtinaĩ jùngti? "Kaĩp kùnigas, àš nè poètas, õ kaĩp poètas, àš nè kùnigas." Štaĩ fòrmulė, kurià Liùdas Vasãris savè apgaudinė́jo ìlgą laĩką. Šìto psichològinio sofìzmo, įvairiomìs atmainomìs gyvẽnime ganà dažnaĩ sutiñkamo, jisaĩ nusitvė́rė kaĩp skę̃stąs šiaudẽlio. Šità iliùzija ìlgus metùs laĩkė jį̃ pavir̃šiuj, jìs "kunigãvo" ir̃ "poetãvo", õ tuõ tárpu kùnigas ir̃ poètas vãrė jamè žūtbūtìnę tarpùsavio kõvą. Jisaĩ užfiksãvo daũgelį šiõs kovõs momeñtų ir̃ mãnė, kàd kùria poèziją. Tuõ tárpu jìs rãšė sàvo žuvìmo kròniką, vienur̃ kitur̃ pamárgintą tikrù kūrýbos žíedu - liūdnù jõ tãlento liùdininku.

Translation

The first possibility was to completely abandon poetry and all those dreams. That would be the most appropriate and simplest solution to the problem. But Vasaris felt that he could hardly have the strength to give up those hopes, which to some degree had brought him to the seminary. Seminary life, indeed, had practically destroyed them, but at the same time he saw that he had talent nevertheless. And now to give up everything? No, that is an impossible thing.
The second possibility offered him (the chance) to reconcile creativity with the priestly life. But how? Up to this time he had not succeeded. He knew and believed that God is the source of all perfection, beauty and the noblest poetry. But why did all the religious and moral motifs of eternal truth, goodness and beauty leave him as cold as ice, whereas creative lyric emotion led to the traps and dangers of life?
But at that moment the third possibility just began to become clear. His own practice had shown him that being a priest and poeticizing are two completely different, if not opposing vocations. Then why is it necessary to unite them? 'As a priest I am not a poet, and as a poet I am not a priest.' This is the formula with which Liudas Vasaris deceived himself for a long time. Like a drowning man (grasping) for a straw, he grasped for this psychological sophism, rather frequently encountered in various guises in life. For long years this illusion kept him afloat; he acted as a priest and acted as a poet, and at the same time the priest and poet in him were engaged in a desperate struggle. He wrote down many of the moments of this struggle and thought that he was creating poetry. At the same time he was writing the chronicle of his ruin, here and there marked by a true spark of creativity, the sad witness of his talent.