IMAGES OF VILIS DZĒRVINĪKS’ POETRY

Kristīne Macanova

Abstract


Vilis Dzērvinīks (1959–2007) is a bright Latgalian poet of the 1990s and the verge of centuries. V. Dzērvinīks has published five collections of poetry: „Sidrabainas asaru lāsītes” (Silver tear drops, 1992), „Laimeigu īsadūmōt” (To imagine being happy, 2001), „Voi moz lidmašīnu kreit” (Are there not many planes falling, 2003), „Upers” (Sacrifice, 2006), and posthumously– „Storp pērstim blusa trynās” (A flea is rubbing between fingers, 2008). V. Dzērvinīks wrote in vers libre, following the 1990s quest for modernity, at the same time the elements of rhythm, concentration of expression and word are preserved to reveal different principles of modernity. V. Dzērvinīks displays rich and cultivated Latgalian, in which he discloses ironically his experiences to the reader, who may be fluent not only in the Latgalian language. The aim of the particular research is to reveal the role of the image of the eye, day or life in the poetry of V. Dzērvinīks’ from both literary and linguistic point of view. The sources of the research are so far not analysed V. Dzērvinīks’ collections of poetry: „Sidrabainas asaru lāsītes” (1992) and „Storp pērstim blusa trynās” (2008). The author of this research has determined six most concentrated images in V. Dzērvinīks’ poetry collections – „Laimeigu īsadūmōt” (2001), „Voi moz lidmašinu kreit” (2003), „Upers” (2006). They are the following: eye, day, life, time, heart and word. The most commonly used images in Dzērvinīks’ poetry collections were also identified with the help of AntConc program; no significant differences were observed in dominating images, only conceptual and semantic distinctions, which enable us to judge about the basic values of V. Dzērvinīks’ poetry and the relationship of the lyrical person towards the world and himself. The semantic and symbolic meaning of images is revealed and the syntagmatic attitudes and semantic roles of images are studied. The research is based on the method of structural semiotics (Jurij Lotman, Jurij Tinanov and Ruta Veidemane). Although the author uses various compositional structures in collections of poetry „Sidrabainas asaru lāsītes” (1992) and „Storp pērstim blusa trynās” (2008), they share several themes of experience: politics and social problems, love poetry and philosophy of life. The distinction is marked by the change of the epoch and is reflected in the mood of poems; in the first collection of poems, the author in a separate chapter retrieves memories about his childhood, country house and here is also a chapter that can be called poet's confession. One of the central meanings of the image of the eye is the symbol of the spiritual vision or blindness, an indicator of feelings and emotions; therefore, the image of the eye is revealed directly in philosophical and love poetry, where not reason is necessary but soul; in politics there is no room for emotions and feelings, therefore the use of the eye image in socio-political poems is minimal. In spite of the great time difference between collections of poetry „Sidrabainas asaru lāsītes” (1992) and „Storp pērstim blusa trynās” (2008), the image of the day is most significant in the chapters of poetry about life philosophy; the lyrical person perceives it as an endless routine, a time loop that never changes. Almost all chapters in both collections are interwoven by such mood except the chapter of love poetry in the first collection. The image of life in all parts of the collections are revealed in a rather uniform way – the life of the lyrical person is full of pain and disappointment, there is no consolation even in love; the means by which lyrical person describes life are stylistically diverse, creative and artistically bright and nuanced. Evaluation of the collection of poems not only in terms of content but also the form reveals that in „Sidrabainas asaru lāsītes” (1992) the author applies various forms – traditional forms and vers libre, as well as more varied syntactic and stylistic figures, also found in syntagmatic analysis. The poems written in Latvian are more varied in form, because those written in Latgalian are on soul-related topics, where continuity and unambiguousness of thought are important, and thus there are fewer attempts to search for new meanings or use of unexpected tropes. In the collection „Storp pērstim blusa trynās” (2008), the author has almost abandoned stylistic figures and vers libre, focusing on irony and imaginative language as the main means of expression. Poetry is only in Latgalian and it is dominated by the search for the meaning of life and the growing disillusionment of the lyrical person with his time, life and love.

Keywords


image of life; image of the day; image of the eye; poetry of Vilis Dzērvinīks; structural semiotics; syntagma;

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17770/latg2018.11.3065

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