Poets of Latvia: Vasilijs Karasjovs

Vasilijs Karasjovs is a Russian-language poet of the youngest generation. Of the very youngest generation - he's only sixteen, but it seems, both from talking to him and from his poems, that he's read a library and a half. He's also seen some recognition, having been nominated for the Arkadii Dragomoshchenko prize awarded to the best Russian poets under 27. 

In black

Cobblestones
Urban mushrooms
Shamelessly slimy caps
Stand and wait
(wait for what)
The moment you step on them
Because
The autograph of your boot
Is likewise dear to me and them
Dear

The poet speaks:

How did this poem come to be? I was standing on Trokšņu street. All my poetry is tied to Riga and people I know. 

I started writing five years ago. I write a lot. It's bad, but I can't do anything about it. 

I've been nominated for the Arkadii Dragomoshchenko prize. He was a Russian poet with an idiosyncratic voice with ties to the Language poets. 

You're just sixteen, but you've already seen some recognition. How does that make you feel?

Well, I did not get the prize. But that's not what's most important. I'm glad that the things I write mean something. That I am not writing as bad as I think. Because I think most of it is utter junk.

What am I doing now? With poetry of the sort that I don't know who'll be reading. The texts are quite long and boring and complex. But still I write and I will go on writing.

I can tell what poetry is lacking nowadays, in my opinion. Of course it's not okay to make generalizations about Russian and Latvian poetry. But all the same. We lack monumental poetry. Some authors are not that serious.

I like serious texts about important topics. My most recent poems are.. why I think they won't be as interesting to many readers is that some are based on an analysis of Dos Passos' writings, on historical events in Latvian literature and history. They are closely related to Riga, for example, in a way that you not only have to know the names of the streets but each corner and what has happened on it. They take a lot of effort.

Some think poetry is for relaxation, or that you can listen to it and text and chat while you are doing so. But each poem is as serious as a big novel, like Ulysses. 

Related articles
Literature
Culture