Metaphors of Dawn in Lithuanian and Russian Poetry Cover Image

Метафоры утренней и вечерней зари в литовской и русской поэзии
Metaphors of Dawn in Lithuanian and Russian Poetry

Author(s): Elena Konitskaya, Birute Yasyunayte
Subject(s): Customs / Folklore, Poetry, Lithuanian Literature, Russian Literature
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: metaphors of dawn; Lithuanian poetic tradition; Russian poetic tradition; biomorphic metaphor; zoomorphic metaphor; metaphor anthropomorphic; poetic metaphor; linguistic metaphor;

Summary/Abstract: This article analyzes the realizations of certain basic metaphors of dawn/sunset in the works of twentieth-century Lithuanian and Russian poets. The first part of the article examines important discrepancies between biomorphic, zoomorphic and anthropomorphic metaphors, as well as mythological metaphors. In Lithuanian poetry, dawn/sunset is associated with different objects compared to Russian poetry (wild strawberries and cherry, birds, fish and snakes in Lithuanian poetry; cranberries, melons and apples, birds and animals in Russian poetry). There is a lack of anthropomorphic metaphors for girl or woman in Lithuanian poetry. The associations of dawn/sunset with mythic entities are also entirely different. In the realization of the metaphor of DAWN/SUNSET – JEWELS, DAWN/SUNSET – FABRIC/ITEM MADE of FABRIC, DAWN/SUNSET – METAL/ITEM MADE of METAL, both similarities and significant differences are registered. The second part of the article examines more closely the similarities between the realizations of three basic metaphors, in which the dawn/sunset is interpreted as: 1) fire or blaze; 2) a burning object; 3) liquid. The analyses embraces about 200 poetry texts excerpts: 95 excerpts from the poetry works by 28 Lithuanian authors and 105 excerpts from the works by 30 Russian authors. In both languages, the metaphoric expressions of the first group highlight the bright colors of dawn/sunset; intensity; impression of a burning object. The metaphorization of the dark hues of dawn is specific to the Russian poetry. Semantically close to this group are metaphors of the DAWN/SUNSET – BURNING OBJECT. Dawn/sunset is interpreted as fire, bonfire, holy fire, burning coals, a lantern or torch. The image of the sacrificial fire is more widespread in the Russian poetry than in Lithuanian. In both poetic systems, folkloric images are used to develop the basic metaphor. The realization of the common metaphor DAWN/SUNSET – LIQUID as DAWN/SUNSET – BLOOD is associated with the metaphor SUNSET – DEATH in the Lithuanian poetry, while in Russian poetry – with the metaphor SUNSET – WOUND. The metaphor DAWN/SUNSET – TEAR is equally rare. In the metaphor DAWN – WATER/WATER RESERVOIR, the overlap of the images and relation to the more general metaphor LIGHT – WATER is evident in the both groups. In the group DAWN/SUNSET – CHEMICAL LIQUID. The image of paint (including cosmetics) is widely used in the both poetical systems. In the latter group, one can notice the overlap of the metaphor DAWN – WINE. It is specific to the Russian metaphoric system the use of pickle, cod-liver oil images.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 40
  • Page Range: 186-205
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Russian