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AbstractArticle is focused on a particular image in the poetry by Lithuanian poet Vincas MykolaitisPutinas (1893-1967) – namely, the image of earth, which in the global mythology and in the Lithuanian folk tradition is as a rule personified as a universal Mother Goddess, patronizing love, rebirth, and fertility, and which is widely echoed in the neo-romantic and symbolist poetry of this author. In such poems as "Atsikėlei, žemele" [‘You Have Risen, Young Earth’], "Žemei" [‘To the Earth’], "Ilgesys" [‘Longing’] and others, this particular mythical meaning is poetically varied, e. g. the main character always stresses his strong tie with the motherlover earth, which gives him birth and supports his living until he becomes able to create. The artist, the creator, is often depicted by Mykolaitis-Putinas as a tree, deeply rooted in the earth and spreading its branches up, with blossoms symbolizing the artist’s work. In this eternal circle of nature and life, the artist feels safe and happy. But later, the situation is to change. During the pre-war period and that of the WWII, this poetical mythic image of earth disappears from the Mykolaitis-Putinas’ poetry. Now the earth is associated with a grave, a dark and devouring hole (Bodlero temomis [‘Following Baudelaire’]). The image of heaven, on the contrary, becomes increasingly more important. In the poem "Prometėjas" [‘Prometheus’], the main character, a man, seeks inspiration and power in heaven, although having to suffer for it.
The image of Prometheus is close to that of the Christ, who has also suffered for mankind. The divine power of awakening and creation is especially prominent in the poem "Bachas. Mišios h-moll" [‘Bach. Mass h-moll’]. Towards the end of his life, Mykolaitis-Putinas composed two poems, namely, "Į šventąją žemę" [‘To the Promised Land’] and "Vasario pūgoj" [‘In the February Snowstorm’], in which the main character leaves his native land, setting on a pilgrimage to the Promised Land and asking someone, called ‘the brother in destiny’, to help him to overcome the obstacles. During the Soviet times, it was impossible to talk and write on the religion-related issues. Therefore Mykolaitis-Putinas used Aesopian language, but it is still obvious that the poet keeps altering the image of earth and uses increasingly more numerous liturgical images in his poetry, approaching the Christian worldview, according to which the power of life and afterlife springs from the heaven, rather than from the earth.