Maryte Collard – Country – Literature
Metai – The Seasons
It was very easy for me to make a decision of wich Lithuanian literature piece to represent: Kristijonas Donelaitis and his poem Metai- 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.
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.