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Maironis (born Jonas Mačiulis, 2 November [O.S. 20 October] 1862 – 28 June 1932) is one of the most famous Lithuanian poets and was also a Catholic priest and educator. Born in Pasandravys, Raseiniai district municipality, Lithuania, Maironis graduated from Kaunas high school. He went to Russia to study Literature at Kiev University.
After one year of studies at the university, in 1884 Marionis returned to his home city and entered Kaunas Spiritual Seminary. While at the seminary, he became an active member of the Lithuanian National Revival. This movement sought to revive use of the Lithuanian language and the culture, while part of the Russian Empire.
Maironis wrote numerous poems. Some of them are contained in his most famous collection of poems, Pavasario Balsai (The Voices of Spring). Later Maironis went to Russia again, where he studied at St. Petersburg Catholic Theological Academy.
In the later years of his life, Maironis worked as a rector of Kaunas Priest Seminary and as a professor at the University of Lithuania, where he taught literature. He is considered responsible for leading efforts to restore use of the Lithuanian language, and replaced the use of Polish with Lithuanian at the seminary in 1909.
He died in Kaunas in 1932, aged 69. He was interred in a tomb monument constructed outside the cathedral. (See photo below). His former house in Kaunas is now used as the Lithuanian literature Museum.
Poetry of Maironis
- Poems by Maironis (English translation)
- Listen to "Kur bėga Šešupė" (Lithuanian)
- Lithuanian Classic Literature Anthology
Tomb monument at Kaunas Cathedral
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