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Juozas Miltinis Learning Years in Paris

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This writing is about Juozas Miltinis, Lithuanian Theater director, who played a prominent role in Soviet occupation period in Lithuanian theater and intellectual society's life. This is a part one of a bigger project. Young years of learning in Paris. 

It was September Of one thousand Nine hundred seven The end of summer With apples lying thickly Under the apple trees And the smell of Autumn Covering the grass Filled with ripe yellow And orange squash He was born in a little Wooden house that night At the very edge Of a very small village At the rail tracks Where lonely train Run once a day Every other Sunday Then one rainy Autumn day He caught a Paris train And ended up on the stage With Jean-Louis Barrault Who was taming a wild horse In As I Lay Dying famous Performance that stunned The artistic community Of avant-garde France And Théâtre de l'Atelier Became an icon of the time After the show was over They all got drunk with ideas That were brewing up in the air They disagreed about many things And all had different images Of what future is about to bring Fiery proving his own point Marcel Marceau broke a fight Protecting the mime rights On the modern theater stage Under Mullen Rouge cabaret lights Where fancy elusive prostitutes Stepped down from the paintings Of dreamy Toulouse Lautrec Who was leaning at the wall At white clothed table very small In a corner next to open doors Women with blood red lips On whitish anorexic faces Whispered little dirty things In slutty enticing voices Into enchanted artists ears They danced around the tables In blurred light with their eyes Framed with dark eye shadows Like deep pools of water shut wide On the other side in a dim light He saw a man sitting at the window Who looked like Antonin Artaud With pale face suspended in frenzy Whispering with bloodless lips And eyes locked in a distant gaze Mystical words of a secret prayer To his own God whom he called Magical cruel double theater cage Later he slept in a room With Madeleine Renaud Future wife of J L Barrault Which they shared in the attic Of a historical stone building On the Augustine street corner With trams running non stop All night along till the morning Waking up exhausted artists from The marathon of intellectual orgies After the premier of Volpone J L Barrault was still dancing In the dark narrow corner With pale shadowy horses In his deep sleepwalking haze When morning broke up Through narrow windows And light was gliding through The cosmic artsy scenery Of cosmopolitan Paris streets One-day Picasso showed up at the door Of the little room on the top floor Where the roof was serving as ceilings In his pocket he had a bottle of aperitif And the party went on till next morning When he inspired started Guernica drawing On the walls of the attic with his fingers Dipped in blood reaching the arched ceiling A beautiful but suffering weeping woman Emerged in the dark shades of the beams Screaming about sadness of human being In the world that lost its own Identity For imaginary empty cruel things Jean Cocteau brought a bizarre spirit Of avant-garde into the community Of a little world of artistic attic That was tremendously affected By the ideas of surrealism in his movies Filled with mystical images of dark spirits Elaborated shapes sounds and forms Never seen on the screen before Love struggle death and rebirth Of The Blood of the Poet that is A part of a divine sacrifice And the modern world’s price For being authentic and alive The next day he went to a market place With beautiful actress Marcelle who was Maestro Charles Dullins’ beloved wife He wanted to learn the lessons of life And to get a reality check of street wise Also to ask for an intelligent advice How not to get lost and find a way To freedom and not to scream or cry In all this spectacular confusing mess Of imagery and novel lavish ideas He chose Charles Dullin as his teacher And Théâtre de l'Atelier became his home And his rigorous training ground For long strenuous four years That flew by as fast as one day He was taught to master the secrets Of sacred stage that is to become A new religion of the future to come On the grounds of Intellectual belief That there is hidden true meaning Of every living human being In the world that lost its ability To be fair and true to itself He spent days and sleepless nights Learning behind the closed curtains The hard lessons of the theater art Taught by skillful masters of the craft The signs of the time were brought to life In that dimly lit space of a closed stage And lit with bright light to emphasize The importance of the sacred stage And the future was to be defined Of many aspects of the art of theater That was conceived in that place Into the craft he was ordained To be perfected to absolute space And time limits expanded and defined In a new creative enchanting way He pledged to be true to the cause To protect the dignity of human being To fight for the freedom of art To become a new century's religion Deep impressions of Paris artistic life Etched in his brain in a new pattern That he saw in the back of his mind He knew he had to find his own way To bring this pattern to life one day He was searching for fertile ground In Paris and all over around But couldn't’t find the right stage Till one rainy day he took a train Back to where from he came He opened a new chapter in his life's Book that he was about to write In images on Lithuanian theater stage He brought spirits of masters to life Off all times in to this little country’s Tragic life that was about to unfold In the shadows of the second world war Brewing in the guts of European core That was wide opening the doors For dark evil unpredictable force To come and change the world in a way that will never be the same

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016

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Date: 2/27/2020 4:10:00 PM
what a terrific insight into his life Ruta - I am half Lithuanian - my father is buried there in Gelgaudiskis but for many reasons i will never visit his homeland although my mother went several times and I understand its very beautiful:-) hugs Jan xx
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Date: 9/2/2016 3:24:00 PM
A terrific poem ruta. I was enthralled from beginning to end.
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