Classic Lithuanian Literature Anthology

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Antanas Strazdas

GIESMĖS SVIETIŠKOS IR ŠVENTOS
The Songs, Worldly and Saint

A.Strazdas The Songs...

    "The Songs, Worldly and Saint" by Antanas Strazdas, that were published in Vilnius in 1814, is the first selection of original Lithuanian poetry. It marks the beginning of Lithuanian secular poetry. Though "The Seasons" by K. Donelaitis were written earlier (in the 7th decade of the 18th century), they were published in Königsberg in 1818, i.e. four years after "The Songs..." by Strazdas. "The Songs..." by Strazdas and "The Seasons" by K. Donelaitis are at the sources of all Lithuanian fiction.
    In the collection of A. Strazdas's poetry nine worldly and two religious songs are published. In 1824 A. Strazdas wanted to publish his second collection of poetry, but it was lost, and even the manuscript was destroyed.
    The poetry of A. Strazdas is very close to the Lithuanian folklore and that is why it was widely spread throughout Lithuania and merged with the folk songs. A. Strazdas had enriched the folk song with his personal poetical experience and the ideas of the epoch. He had created his own poetical school that continued throughout the 19th century. Only by the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century it was replaced by the poetical school of Maironis. Later both of these schools were absorbed into the trends of the modern Lithuanian poetry.