FOR THEM TO REMEMBER…
In his newly published book, named „Paeziya rechaisnastsi: U svietse Maksima Tanka” (Poetry of reality: Within the world of Maksim Tank) (M. Mikulich „Paeziya rechaisnastsi: U svietse Maksima Tanka” (Poetry of reality: Within the world of Maksim Tank). – Mn.: Mastatskaya litaratura, 2001, - 126s.), Mikola Mikulich continues his evaluation of the complicated life and creative destiny of Maksim Tank, the national poet of Belarus, as well as comprehends numerous aspects of multifaceted literary heritage and demonstrates friendly relations between the poet-academician and his colleagues and like-minded people. The monographic work comprises four parts that are absolutely different both as of their genre and contents.
„Paeziya rechaisnastsi” (Poetry of reality), the first part of the book, deals with evaluation of a long and complicated way of Maksim Tank both in the field of literature and socio-historical life. M. Mikulich happens to have reconsidered numerous poems, belonging to different creative periods of the poet, in the new and to the great extent original way. He gives special emphasis to the initial, western-Belarusian period in artistic search of Tank. The author concludes to the point that the young poet stood out of the general literary background by his emphatic revolutionary posture that found its implementation in his poetry that was of a pioneer type according to both its form and contents. Observations and reasonings of numerous outstanding activists of Belarusian culture also contribute to the point of the book. It is worth mentioning that M. Mikulich uses objective resolution, gives quotations and controverts with the ones who gave rather critical evaluation of personality of M. Tank, as a representative of the Communist Party of Western Belarus (KPZB).The author surveys the poetry of a classical poet of the national literature in a chronological and precise way, specifies periods of creative works and the corner-stone poems of Tank. It should be pointed out that the author of the book sounds in a rather traditional way. However, this fact contributes more to the perfect knowledge of M. Mikulich of not only artistic but scientific material as well. It is significant that evaluation of creative work of M. Tank is illustrated by fragments of diaries of the poet, his interviews, including the ones he had with the author of this monographic book.
Heritage of the national poet, who is one of the most prominent writers in the history of Belarusian literature, is known to be extremely rich and versatile. Therefore, the author faced a complicated task, i.e. to define the main conceptual mile-stones that could be used to exactly identify the manner of writing of a master. M. Mikulich seems to have successfully accomplished that task. Omitting the well-known facts, synthesizing and compressing into one universal unit numerous characteristic elements of Tank’s poetry, the researcher reached extremely high concentration of analytical thought. It is also worth mentioning that complex consideration was given by the author to the last collections of poems, including the „ERRATA” book that has been published after the poet’s death.
„It did happen, commissar …” is the title of the second part of the book. It deals with another page in life of M. Tank, i.e. his friendship with Mikhas’ Lyn’kou, the Belarusian prose writer. That was the reason why the author used the initial line of the poem by M. Tank, which was dedicated to M. Lyn’kou, as the title of the part of the book. The researcher avoids exuberant deliberations and insufficient conclusions. The part of the book contains the number of letters of M. Tank addressed to the Belarusian writer. In a very delicate way M. Mikulich gets the reader ready to percept those individual and personal historical documents.
The said letters of the poet have been revealed thank to the diligent work of the author of the book at the archives department. They characteristically cover more than the quarter of a century period of time. They enable the reader to trace the natural and gradual process of development of their friendship. The initial documents, that date back to the year of 1942 and the next ones of 1944, speak in favor of firm foundation of unity of thoughts and souls of the two writers. It is amazing that in nearly each letter M. Tank expresses his concern about other people, i.e. activists of the Belarusian culture. The last documents date back to the 1960s. They prove the fact how close the writers and like-minded people became to each other. M. Tank trusted his friend even the intimate and personal problems as well as „unofficial” thoughts. By the way, M. Mikulich leaves those documents without any commentary as if trying not to prevent the attentive and thoughtful reader from penetration into his personal experiences at the background of what he has read about.
Another chapter of the book, entitled „Poetry of reality”, has also acquired its tile from the quotation coming from the latter by Larysa Heniyush, i.e. „You are so dear to all, all of us!...”
It should be mentioned that those two authors belonged to absolutely different poles of authoritative and official recognition. Maksim Tank was known to be a famous poet who was endowed with all privileges and apanages of glory and power. Larysa Heniyush turned out to be an absolute antipode. She was an individual who was deprived any human rights, a former political prisoner. She has not even ever been the member of the Union of Writers. She was an artist whose works have not often been allowed to be available for the readers and their vast appreciation. And, finally she was a woman exhausted by the continuous life and everyday problems. Therefore, only few people would undergo risk for the sake of contacts and relations with a wonderful poet. Maksim Tank proved himself to be in such situation a man of maximal spiritual purity, faith and adherence to principles. Mainly he was one of the few reliable friends and sacrificing assistant of Larysa Heniyush. The author of the monograph work is gradually and happily bringing the reader closer to realization of strong spiritual and psychological ties of the two poets. M. Mikulich shares his impressions about the initial acquaintance by correspondence the following meeting of masters of word in person. This chapter of the book comprises the letters addressed by Larysa Heniyush to the national poet. Letters of that strong woman, addressed to Maksim Tank, are full of deep confidence, purity of soul, hope and mutual understanding. Each letter of L. Heniyush serves as an artistic phenomenon, filled up with deep dramatic tension of human life and suffered feeling. They are the specific literary and artistic works, having written for only one reader.
„Shumiats’ narachanskiy sosny” (The Narach pine trees keep chiding) is the final chapter of the book. A multiyear research, personal sincere friendship with the wonderful poet, knowledge of private circumstances of his life and creative work as well as motivated acquaintance with Narachanshchyna, the native land of the poet seemed to have favored preparation by M. Mikulich of such a pronouncedly individual artistic essay. Mikola Mikulich narrates in a very sincere and subtle way on how acquaintance with the native environment of the poet took place, the one which has been berhymed by M. Tank numerous times. That scenery gradually awoke in the author of the book not only spiritual mood but also recollections about a man and a poet. The chapter also comprises personal meditations and observations of the author as well as elements of his reference to various interviews and discussions and other interesting material. In this essay M. Mikulich displayed himself as a thoughtful prose writer, observant lyric and an artist, accurate in all details of his creative work. One can feel how the author co-exists with the poet on a constant basis. His address to the poet aims to get an advice from the latter. M. Mikulich looks at the poet through the prism of unforgettable impressions and memory.
It should also be mentioned that the book comprises the unpublished pictures, taken by the author, that depict the national poet as an ordinary man who remembers his friends, never neglects his relatives and fellow-villagers and who likes to rest while fishing, having walks down in the forest and at the lake. At the same time, in a very honest and objective way these pictures depict an old man who is tired of that burden of the past that he had to go through on his long way of life verifications, i.e. the artistic, creative, human and the personal ones.
This book will be useful for the ones who are interested in the history of Belarusian literary of the 20th century and study of life and creative work of Maksim Tank, a poet and a personality.
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