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JURGA IVANAUSKAITĖ

 

 

Jurga Ivanauskaite

Jurga Ivanauskaitė (1961–2007) was a prose writer, essayist, playwright, painter and poet. In 1980 she graduated from M.K.Čiurlionis Art School. In 1985 she completed her studies at Vilnius Art Academy where she majored in the Graphic Arts and concurrently published her first book, a collection of short stories The Year of the Lilies of the Valley. The writer published seven novels, two fairy tales for children, a book of essays and two books of poetry. Books by J. Ivanauskaitė have been translated into the English, Latvian, Polish, Russian, German and other languages.

 

Paul Perry

PAUL PERRY is the author and editor of a number of books, including The Drowning of the Saints, Goldsmith’s Ghost, The Orchid Keeper, and The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance which appears from The Dedalus Press in 2010. Based in Dublin, he teaches for the Creative Writing Programme at Kingston University, London and for the MA in Creative Writing at UCD.

 

 

On the Plane

 (from the Lithuanian of Jurga Ivanauskaitė)

 

Those sitting by

the emergency exit

should abandon everything

but hope.

 

No doubt no doubt

handbags and briefcases

will hinder a headlong fall

from the dropping liner.

 

Wraps, throws, or cloaks

are not needed either,

hungry interspatial spirits

might get entangled in them.

 

The beards of poets

are less than desirable,

the devil grabs them

first of all.

 

It is advisable to shave

even leg hairs,

when erect they become sharp

and might tear the clouds.

 

It is necessary to

take off all clothes

be naked as newborns,

lovers or corpses.

 

Nudity is unavoidable

at crucial moments—

as in Bosch’s Paradise and Hell

or in Memling's Last Judgment.

 

Everyone once fallen

is already swarming

with ruthless smiles

between the propeller’s wings.

 

Translated by Paul Perry and Ruta Suchodolskyte.

 

©2009 Jurga Ivanauskaitė

 

Author Links

 

Jurga Ivanauskaite at 'Books from Lithuania'

Paul Perry Home Page

Two Perry poems at The Poem.co.uk

 

 

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