a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


My beginnings with poetry


First and foremost – a poet
Tomas Venclova Poet
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

I also managed to maintain proper, friendly father-son relations with my father – a relation between a loving father and a loving son right up to his death, and that's something I am very happy about. And also, of course, with my mother. Well, my mother, she didn't have anything to do with politics but she was the wife of a well known politician and as a consequence that same shadow fell on her, too, to some degree. Well, and so when I graduated from university I was clearly not pro-Soviet but rather anti-Soviet. I graduated from university. To tell the truth, I had begun to write poems before graduating. I consider myself first and foremost a poet. Relatively speaking I haven't written many, all the poems I've written throughout my life were published recently in one book. There are only 204 works in it, which is relatively little. Lithuanian poets usually write about 1000, several thousand poems, and I, a little over 200. Well, but, [Henrikas] Radauskas, to take an example – whom I loved – also probably wrote about 200 poems. And that's enough for one to have a place in Lithuanian literature if the texts are good, and Radauskas's, without a doubt, are good. I can't say anything about my own.

Mums taip pat pavyko su tėvu palaikyti korektiškus, bičiuliškus tėvo ir sūnaus ryšius. Mylinčio tėvo ir mylinčio sūnaus ryšius, ligi pat jo mirties, kuo aš labai džiaugiuosi. Taip pat, žinoma, ir su motina. Na, motina, ji su politika neturėjo nieko bendro, bet buvo žinomo politinio veikėjo žmona ir tuo pačiu ir ant jos tas šešėlis šiek tiek krito. Na, ir štai kada jau aš baigiau universitetą buvau jau aiškiai ne tarybiškai ir netgi antitarybiškai nusiteikęs. Baigęs universitetą, tiesa, tada dar nebaigęs jau pradejau rašyti eileraščius. Aš laikau save pirmiausiai poetu. Eilėraščių esu parašęs palyginti nedaug, neseniai išleista viso mano gyvenimo eilėraščių knyga. Joje yra tikrai 204 tekstai, kas palyginti labai nedaug. Lietuvių poetai paprastai parašo po 1000, po kelis tūkstančius eilėraščių, aš apie du šimtus su trupučiu. Na, bet Radauskas, sakysime, kurį aš mylėjau, taip pat parašė turbūt tik apie 200 eilėraščių. Ir to užtenka, kad liktum lietuvių literatūroje, jeigu tie tekstai yra geri, o Radausko, be abejo, yra geri. Apie savo tekstus negaliu spręsti.

Born in 1937, Tomas Venclova is a Lithuanian scholar, poet, author and translator of literature. He was educated at Vilnius University and later at Tartu University. As an active participant in the dissident movement he was deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1977 and had to emigrate. Between 1977 and 1980 he lectured at University of California, Berkeley, where he became friends with the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, who was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the school, as well as the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. He is currently a full professor at Yale University.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Henrikas Radauskas

Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Date story recorded: May/June 2011

Date story went live: 20 March 2012