|Wolfgang Görtschacher & LaimaSruoginis (eds.)|
Raw Amber. An Anthology of Contemporary LithuanianPoetry
September 2002. 224 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-12-1; ISBN-10 3-901993-12-6
Raw amber, the pebbles one picks from the Lithuanian shoreline aftera winter or early spring storm, represents the subject matter that thepoets featured in this anthology write about: The rawness of emotion feltin a country which, within the span of fifty years, has suffered threeforeign invasions, the deportation of a third of its people to Siberia,and the slaughter of practically its entire Jewish community; ten yearsof partisan warfare against the Red Army that left an entire generation- the part of it that remained after the rest had fled to the West or beenexiled to Siberia - shattered; nearly fifty years of foreign occupation;revolution; the recovery of a lost independence; and, finally, a decadeof painful, slow, often disappointing, reconstruction. Stepping forwardout of this panorama of pain, the poets in this anthology beckon the readerto enter into an inner life of cold beauty and tough fragility: worn stonesteps, sawdust blown by a feeble wind at midnight, an ant carrying a firneedle ...
Polly Bird, "Review of Raw Amber", New Hope International Review
"Although Lithuanian poetry is widely available in German-language editions it islargely unknown to English-speakers. This excellent anthology brings togethersome of the best of Lithuania's modern poets. [...]Each poet's selection is preceded by a short introduction to their life andwork. These make fascinating reading on their own and provide a snapshot of thecultural life of Lithuania. What emerges from the poetry in this book is a strongconnection to the land itself and the Lithuanian people as a whole. [...]The translations are excellent and there is no sense of jarring thattranslated poetry sometimes achieves. This is an excellent introduction toa vibrant and exciting poetic culture."
Read the full review of Raw Amber at NewHope International Review On-Line
Robert von Dassanowsky, Southern Humanities Review 37.4 (Fall 2003)
"As with German writers, but in a different way, the horrors of the twentieth centurywill always haunt Lithuanian writing. Sigitas Parulskis concludes his feverish and hymnic'Father's Time' with phantom traces of the past in personal and national consciousness: '... as for me -there are dried marks on my cheeks. ...' But whether influenced by rural or urban environment,by gender roles and experiences, by overt or covert political activity, or by the work of earlier mastersand other nations, the poetry in this anthology tells the history of an amazingly resilient peopleand their most eloquent art - or as Sruoginis observes, of a land where 'poetry is not yet dead.'It is an understatement, for Lithuania has taught the world that poetry can still define and embrace a nation."