|"Someday the advent of the book will be compared to the theft
of divine fire, for there is no other protection against darkness and the violence
of beasts but the book, for only the book can warm our numb souls and lead us through the
labyrinths of the world and our own hearts."
Justinas MARCINKEVIČIUS: A Diary Without Dates, 1981.
Justinas MARCINKEVIČIUS (1930), poet, playwright, translator, Member of the Lithuanian Academy of Science, is the author of many famous poems, including "Kraujas ir pelenai / Blood and Ashes" (1960), "Siena / The Wall" (1965), and "Pažinimo medis / The Tree of Knowledge" (1979), and books of poetry: "Duoną raikančios rankos / Hands Breaking Bread " (1963), "Mediniai tiltai / Wooden Bridges" (1966), "Liepsnojantis krūmas / The Burning Bush" (1968), "Gyvenimo švelnus prisiglaudimas / Life Touched Me Gently" (1978), "Būk ir palaimink / Be and Bless" (1980), "Vienintelė žemė / The Only Land" (1984), and "Prie rugių ir prie ugnies / By the Rye Field and by the Fire-Place" (1993). In 1981-83 the Selected Works of Justinas Marcinkevičius in 5 vol. were published. For several decades theatres in Lithuania and other countries have staged this whole dramatic trilogy or its parts: "Mindaugas" (1968), "Mažvydas" (1977), "Katedra" (1971). J. Marcinkevičius is the author of the essay collections "Dienoraštis be datų / A Diary Without Dates" (1981) and "Tekančios upės vienybė / The Harmony of the Flowing River" (1994). Selected works by J. Marcinkevičius have been published in German, Russian, English, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Norwegian, Estonian, Romanian, Serbian, Latvian, Slovak, Armenian, Czech, Uzbek, Georgian, Moldavian, Kirghiz, Ukrainian, and other languages. Some of his poems have been published in Italian, French, Spanish, Finnish, etc. anthologies and magazines.
The poet's major theme is Lithuania, its past and present, nature and culture, human existence in one's homeland and in the world, and existential problems: happiness, responsibility, suffering, fear, faithfulness, kindness.
Justinas MARCINKEVIČIUS has translated into Lithuanian selected works by A. Pushkin, M. Lermontov, S.Yesenin, A. Mickiewicz, etc. and the Finnish epic poem Kalevala.
Justinas MARCINKEVIČIUS has twice received the State Award of Lithuania for his literary works and has received the Santarvė Award of Lithuania (1994) for his civic activities.