by Algimantas Mikuta
I`m not a sucker for poetry, really. Still, I cannot but admit there are some poets well worth reading. One of those is a Lithuanian poet Algimantas Mikuta.
A true poet, this one is! I mean, he can do rhyme and rhythm, if he feels like that, so when you see some blank verse of his, you can be sure the verse is blank because that`s how it should be, not because the poet cannot manage strict rhyme. This guy surely can!
True poetry is, to my mind, much more than baby talk and lyricism and rhythm (or lack of thereof) and rhyme (or lack of thereof). What Mikuta does is True Poetry. It is loaded with emotion (contained, mind you; that`s important!) and information; many a verse of his is aphoristic. Not to mention his perfect sense of rhyme and rhythm and the deep sense of words.
Just two lines from the Pendulum book:
Palaidojo, prote, tave visuose kapuose,
O tu štai vis viena kažkaip sugebėjai išlįsti.
Meaning, kinda, “Wisdom, they have buried you in every possible cemetery/grave, but you still manage to scramble out, somehow” (the translation is poor, I must admit; you`d need a talented native English poet to translate properly).
The poet does not play intellectual games many poets, or rather "poets", seem to be so fond of. Neither does he sing Sighs and Kisses Under the Moon. That does not mean there are no love verses created by him; there are, but those are different... Anyway, what I like about his poetry is subtle irony and... how do I put that... singing Mind and Soul, tired yet powerful?
Oh well, another two lines from the Pendulum (Acceleration):
Prakilnus lapeli figos,
Kam pabėgai iš tarnybos?
Meaning, sorta, "Noble fig-leaf, why did you quit your job?" (translation poor, again).
What I`m trying to review here is Švytuoklė, most probably because it includes the Algorithms of Song (Giesmės algoritmai), a very favourite of mine, but almost every book by Mikuta is a treat. I would specially recommend We`ll Draw Lightning Bolts Today (Šiandien piešime žaibus), Hour of Owl (Apuoko valanda), The Black Pawn (Juodasis pėstininkas), but others are well worth reading, too; the above are just those I like best. As to the plot… can one describe “the plot” when discussing poetry? I do not think so. What`s more, I do believe if one can “plot out” verse, the verse is not (quite) poetry. I might well be wrong, of course. It`s a matter of taste, after all.
I`m not sure if the poems by Mikuta should/could be translated, either. I doubt true poetry can be translated, ever. Might be wrong, again…
Anyway, some links won`t hurt, I suppose.