Gira, Ljudas Konstantinovic

Gira, Ljudas Konstantinovič


Born Aug. 15 (27), 1884, in Vilnius; died there July 1, 1946. Soviet Lithuanian writer and public figure. People’s Poet of the Lithuanian SSR (1943). Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Lithuanian SSR (1945).

Gira studied in pharmacy school and in a Catholic seminary. He edited the first Lithuanian literary journal, Vaivorikšte (The Rainbow, 1913-14), and was the director of the State Theater in Kaunas from 1921 to 1926. His collections of poetry, Toot-Toot-Toot the Pipe (1909), The Green Meadow (1911), Along the Roads of the Homeland (1912), and Sparks (1921), turn to Lithuania’s past and decry national and social oppression. Many of his poems became folk songs. He wrote the tragedy Vengeance (1910) and plays in the symbolist spirit.

In bourgeois Lithuania, Gira had ties with the ruling circles. Beginning in the mid-1930’s he joined the camp friendly to the USSR. After the establishment of Soviet power in Lithuania in 1940, he actively participated in socialist construction. During the Great Patriotic War he enlisted in a large Lithuanian unit of the Soviet Army. During that period several collections of his poetry were published: Grunewald’s Lithuania (1942), Violence and Determination (1942), On Distant Roads (1945), and The Word of Struggle (1943, in Russian). Gira’s poetry is characterized by melodiousness, simplicity of artistic methods, and proximity to folklore. He also worked as a critic (the collection Critical Works, 1928), and as a translator (the works of A. S. Pushkin, T. G. Shevchenko, J. Kupala, and others).


Raštai, vols. 1-5. Vilnius, 1960-63.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Vilnius, 1952.
Zdravstvui, vikhr’! Leningrad, 1960.


Ocherk istorii litovskoi sovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1955.
Istoriia mnogonatsional’noi sovetskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1970.
Lietuvių literatūros istorija, vol. 3, part 1. Vilnius, 1961.