LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 36, No.4 - Winter 1990
Editor of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
Copyright © 1990 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
POEMS OF MARCELIJUS MARTINAITIS
Translated by Laima Sruoginytë
Lamenting Ladybug, A Summer Dream
In the morning,
as the sun was rising
They carried her held up high
in a glass drop.
Along the way, reapers
stood barefoot, hats in hand.
Their scythes flashed.
In front twelve horsemen rode.
Their horses walked with lowered heads
as if in an etching.
And you couldn't see where the road ended.
Beside the hearse
walked a lame girl—
she was ladybug's sister.
black veiled nights
to raise Ladybug."
The sun sharpened the scythes—
the scythes cut the reeds—
twelve horsemen rode—
I am Severiutë from Uþpaliai, where the railroad tracks turn south,
where I walked the tracks barefoot,
like a pregnant washerwoman ordered away from home . . .
As if I were nobody—
at the heavily laden table there was no room for me;
behind my back, when I didn't hear
and talked . . .
I wasn't a sister to you, I just wove the linen;
alone I raised my mute third brother.
I cried for my dead father in his wooden bed and I don't blame you.
As if over knives—
I walked the frozen earth,
I waded through the village mud . . .
I lived far from you,
far from Uþpaliai—
At night I spoke with the grass
about a small tow-headed child.
The little hunchback
who died the year before last
played the accordion for me.
he would clothe me in beer froth,
put my feet in scythe-like shoes . . .
My dear God,
I didn't even see that we'd grown old—
like a big lit-up city
the train passed through tonight . . .
I'm just Severiutë, but I—
cry like a little shepherdess—
how quietly on the unfinished linen cries
the hunchbacked weaveress.
All these years have passed,
and it's too late to comfort me:
you needed a shepherdess,
a barefooted comfort.
What have you done to me,—
You see, I'm just Severiutë,
I am the sister of the third mute brother.
Lonely Woman's Song
What does the lover say?
What do the trees and the earth answer?
And on whom overnight does
the morning dew fall?
What does a word say to a word?
Who comes out of the river's white mist
and in the morning silently
stops at the window?
What do the stars and the bullets say,
what does death say
when it leans over the lover
in a foreign land?
Does a word hear a word,
when the stars fall soundlessly,
when far away the moon
swims over mountains of clouds?
Don't rustle, books, trees,
don't interfere with the lovers—
so quiet, they don't fall asleep,
like two stars in the heavens.