The Silenced Muse: the Life of a Murdered Jewish Lithuanian Poet – Deep Baltic

It Was Snowing

Silver stars were falling

In the blue night…

And my land drowned

In longing for happiness…

Happiness resides somewhere

Beyond Three Hills.

Tiny bells chime softly

And my heart is calmed…

And we set out on the white road,

We walked away.

We met a white visitor

From a faraway land.

Silver stars fell

Into the blue night.

A silver star I carry

In my restless heart.

– M. Olkin [Olkinaitė is the Lithuanian version of her surname.]

Dr. Irena Veisaitė, translation

. . . a small glossary of symbols that appear in her work. The Sun (Saulė), for example, refers not just to the physical sun in the sky, but also to the Lithuanian Sun Goddess, who in our folk tales rides across the sky in a golden chariot. The Sun Goddess is one of the most important deities in the Lithuanian pantheon of gods. She brings joy, rebirth, and happiness. The stone in Matilda’s poetry is a Jewish symbol. The stone is the source of her strength as a Jew, and also represents her faith. The Three Hills in Lithuanian folklore refers to a land far away and unreachable, a land that can be dreamt of, but never reached. If one goes to the land beyond the Three Hills, one is gone forever. Dark eyes (brown eyes) refer to a Jew. Blue eyes refer to a Lithuanian. – Laima Vincė

 

Matilda Olkin’s short life and her poems stand as a testament that the fragile beauty of the written word gives us strength even in humanity’s darkest hour.

Source: The Silenced Muse: the Life of a Murdered Jewish Lithuanian Poet – Deep Baltic

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