Classic Lithuanian Literature Anthology

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Dionizas Poška

(1757 - 1830)


Forms of the name: Paschkewitsch, Paszkevicz, Paszkevis, Paškevičius, Paszkiawiczius, Paszkievicz, Paszkiewicz, Paszkus, Poszkus.

    Dionizas Poška is one of the most prominent Lithuanian writers and cultural workers of democratic trend from the beginning of the 19th century.
    D.Poška was born in the environs of Skaudvilė in a family of petty Samogitian gentry. The place and time of his birth are not established exactly. From the records in his death certificate one may deduce that D.Poška was born in the year 1757.
    For some time D.Poška studied in Kražiai college of Jesuits. Later he studied law at the barrister's and for a long time (until 1821) held various offices at the courts. Since 1790 till his death (in 1830) he lived in a small estate of Bardžiai (Raseiniai district).
    D.Poška was a person of wide outlook: public and culture worker, scientist, man of letters. His special interest was in the past of his nation, its language and spiritual culture. He collected ancient artifacts from archeological excavations, arms, coins, books. He cut down an oak that began to dry up and hollowed its trunk thus making a hut called Baublys where in 1812 he established the first museum in Lithuania. This museum soon became widely known and played an important role in encouraging people to cherish and study the past of their country. Baublys has remained up to our days.
    D.Poška was writing in Lithuanian and Polish languages. He himself did not publish much. Part of his own works and translations is lost. His literary heritage that reached our days consists of historical, philological and fiction works.
    D.Poška was collecting historical materials, wrote works on the problems of Lithuanian past, language, ethnography and mythology. D.Poška was compiling a big dictionary of Polish - Latin - Lithuanian languages. The most significant part of this dictionary is its phraseology and literary illustration of the usage of words.
    The fiction works of D.Poška vary in form: they consist of poems, occasional verses, versificated letters, epigrams. The most significant in social and artistic aspects of them is the poem "The Peasant of Samogitia and Lithuania".