If you had to choose one literature work that represents Lithuania, what that would be? For me it was easy to choose what I was making for the fifth this year’s Fifteen by Fifteen challenge: Kristijonas Donelaitis and his poem The Seasons.
Kristijonas Donelaitis (1714 – 1780) was a Prussian Lithuanian poet and Lutheran pastor. He lived and worked in Lithuania Minor, a territory in the Kingdom of Prussia where the Kaliningrad region of Russia is now. I grew up in a small town across the border in Lithuania, just 12 km away from where Donelaitis lived. My high school bears the name of Kristijonas Donelaitis.
The poem Metai (The Seasons) is a classic work of Lithuanian literature. It depicts everyday life of Lithuanian peasants, their struggle with serfdom, and the annual cycle of life. It consists of four idylls, totaling 2,997 hexameters. It was first published in 1824 by Rheza and it was the first literature work ever published in Lithuanian language.
Quilt Rėdos Ratas
Reading the poem I always feel the connection to the ancient Baltic calendar, called Rėdos Ratas (The circle of Reda), where the cycle of nature and the cycle of human life moves by never ending rhythm. Most important changes in nature and human life are reflected by ancient Baltic symbols where on a very top is RASA. This is the longest day of the year and the stage of maturity of the life. It goes down on the right and up again on the left by never ending cycle. The nature changes, the life changes, the old dies and the new is being born.
As in my other quilts, I used unbleached and eco dyed linen fabrics with no machine sewing (except the binding). Hand embroidery and hand stitching is done with linen yarn only. Here few photos are telling the story:
Now we have only one more quilt to make this year. That is flora and fauna of the chose country. Guess what I am going to make? Come back in two months!
Nancy Hudson says
Maryte, as usual you have fascinated me with your ability to pull me into your creative work with your interesting words. So good to hear you and see what you are up to. I love the quilt and now i want to read the poem. I will research if there is a translation into English but i fear if there is it will not be anything like it… thank you for sharing! Nancy