Author portrait
Inga Gaile // PORTRAIT

CRY NOT LAUGH With the book raudat nedrīkst smieties (Cry Not Laugh) Inga Gaile confirms her ability to write poems of an original and passionate nature. This is her second collection of poetry; the manuscript was awarded the Anna Dagda Foundation Accolade. Since Inga Gaile’s debut collection Laiks bija iemīlējies (Time Had Grown Enamored), she has fortunately not become “professionalized.” She does not create deliberate profundities, “painfully moving” or “rich in meaning” works of art, which would have the effect of strengthening her status as a poet; on the contrary, one has the sense that her spontaneity has flourished, giving rise to joy and surprise with every word in a sequence that flows from the poet’s pen – and that she doesn’t concern herself whether her writing will merge with the new or old conventions of poetry. Rhythm is a significant part of Inga Gaile’s poetry – entering the texts of her prose poetry, the reader feels drawn into a strong current, surrounded by many images that glitter within sight, forming exclamations and questions. Rhythm drives the reader forward (as when the poet reads her work aloud, the stanzas follow one after the other quickly and even somewhat fiercely), not allowing time to search for the connections between images conjured up, producing almost a dizzying effect. God help us, if Inga Gaile writes a poem ten pages in length – the physical effect of reading it would cause the reader to fall dead as if having run a marathon unprepared. Slower paced poems give breathing space, detailing a story or situation; for example, Lord Byron, who has a choir singing within himself, or the liberated, enlightened hymn to human prescience, “when you paint a cage . . .” Inga Gaile’s poetry is emotional and sensitive – epiphanies and love for the entire world blend with mentions of physical love; the world revealed is structured with the bright clarity of a kaleidoscope, combining familiar scents, tastes and feelings, painterly sights and sounds. Inga Gaile’s text evolves from a chaos of experiences, sensations and fervor, and life outside these brilliant parameters does not interest her. In rare instances this poetry appears as controlled, deliberate work - and having been exposed as such for an instant, it again is curbed, giving rein to feelings. Inga Gaile is not one of those authors whose poetry in the nineties offered the dread of nihilism and cynicism; the spontaneous ventures her poems hazard go hand in glove with hints lightly made and the tactics of restraint. It would, however, be incorrect to say that the Inga Gaile’s poetry is restricted to writing solely of random impressions gained along her course. The attributed fascination and secretiveness derive from the fact that, behind the brightly colored, commonplace things that first catch attention, one senses unspoken words, and perhaps inexpressible phenomena. Concise sentences cannot explain impetuous leaps of thought, but only excite and tempt. Kārlis Vērdiņš Translated by Inara Cedrins 2005