• May 30, 2023
  • 103

Festival “May on the Neris”: the formula is very wide

For several days, the jubilee edition of the International Poetry Festival “May on the Neris” has been taking place in the Vilnius region. Guests from seven countries came to Vilnius. In addition to poetry, the festival is accompanied by lectures, concerts and tours.

The inauguration of the Festival took place on Monday morning, May 29, at the Adam Mickiewicz Museum in Vilnius. Slightly earlier, a traditional photo of the participants was taken in front of the Statue of Adam Mickiewicz.

“Not only poets are gathered on this ‘May’. Of course, there is a high density of poetry. There are also writers, filmmakers, literary critics, publishers, journalists and their friends. The formula is very broad, but I am glad that most of you, and perhaps all of you, are influenced by Vilnius,” said poet Romuald Mieczkowski, director of the Festival. Summing up the 30-year activity of the festival, the initiator of “May on the Neris” emphasized that he is personally pleased that during these years hundreds of poems about Vilnius were created.

Patron of the place and poets

The inauguration of the festival was attended personally by the Polish ambassador in Vilnius, Konstanty Radziwiłł. At the outset, the diplomat joked that he actually wrote a poem once, which was dedicated to his future wife. The author did not like the poem and therefore the poem was destroyed.

“I think that Adam Mickiewicz, like few others, is the patron of many poetry writers. He can also be the patron of this place. This meeting of different cultures, different peoples. After all, it was he who wrote: “Lithuania, my homeland”. He wrote it in Polish. This shows that things are more complicated,” said Konstanty Radziwiłł.

The Ambassador assured that the Polish diplomatic mission has supported and will continue to support Polish cultural initiatives in Lithuania. In an interview with the media, he pointed out that Vilnius is a very important center for Polish culture.

“He is the source of many Polish poets. How did they come from here? I don’t know, I’m not a poet, but I think there must be something in this place, since so much poetry was born here. This poetry is not only Polish, but also local. I think it’s very noticeable” Radziwiłł said.

The Concert and The Mass

The inauguration took place on Monday morning, but in fact the festival started the day before. On Sunday, a special Holy Mass was celebrated in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after which guests and participants of the poetry event presented their own works.

In the evening, in the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius, a poetic and musical concert “30 in 700 years of Vilnius” was held with the participation of composer and jazzman Jan Maksimowicz and a representative of sung poetry from Rzeszów Waldemar Lenkowski.

After the inauguration, at the Adam Mickiewicz Museum, there was a presentation of the bilingual book “Adomo Mickevičiaus Poezija / Poezyje Adama Mickiewicza”, which was presented by the co-author of the publication Alicja Dzisewicz. On Monday, a special conference “After 30 festivals – what meetings with poetry do we expect?” was held, which summarized the festival’s achievements so far.

Today on the 30th of May, the participants went on a trip to the two former capitals of the GDL: Kernave and Trakai. The festival will last until Thursday.

Translated by Patrycja Szwak within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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