How Long Does "The Moment Before Growing Up" by Lilia Jovnova last?

July, 2018
literature & books

photo: personal archive ©

The Moment Before Growing Up (2018, Janet 45) is the first book of the young Lilia Yovna. The title provokes the reading of poems featured in the debut to mark the age of a woman born in 1999, to seek biographical notes for the girl who was awarded the Little Poetry at fifteen. In the case of a merger, a hasty overlap of the real with the artistic, the lyrical works will be unduly restricted to an appendage of a pre-typed image of the author. And the title of the book actually refers to the difficult to establish, the ephemeral boundary between childhood and youth, between carelessness and responsibility, thoughtlessness and reasoning, inexperience and maturation.


In "The Moment Before Growing Up," the first and last poems of the same name act as a conceptual framework, partly acting as a counterpoint to one another and play a corresponding - imaginary foreboding of the moment and the conscious return, turning to it when it has already passed. Before it comes, the moment is elusive until you catch him as a thief who intends to rob you. After experiencing it, it turns out, it was longer than expected. Expectations are rewritten from experience, with steadfast slices of knowledge.


In the book, experience takes different poetic forms, is spoken, illustrated from different positions. On the one hand stands the woman who remembers the child she was, but knowing that she didn't always have to try to be the "daddy's girl", on the other - the daughter who apologizes and thanks her mother for " a timely letter was written. " In some of the works it is recalled that "one divide divides you from nothing", while in others the plea - "wait for us to catch the times" - escapes.


In other words, time is the main theme of the book, a meaningful mechanism, and a method of distinguishing a previous idea or point of view from a present one, to distinguish the apparent, the variable from the original, the unchanging. If we allow ourselves some schematism, it is the axis on which the lessons of growing up lie.


"I'm sorry for all the poems.
I owe both of us an apology.
You didn't deserve that much.
I didn't deserve that much. "


You will overcome the other if you find that there is no winner, as soon as you lose the other with your stubbornness, you will realize that you are "barely swallowing" if you admit that nothing is closer to your throat "than the edge of memory." Positions are parallelized, and their alignment, temporal rearrangement, contextually sensible or expressed through lexical means, verb forms, is performed on the principle of contrast. At the stylistic level, emotionally colored metaphors contrast with emphatic reasoning findings. Ideally, actions, events, consequences are opposed to the new perspective on them. Doubt, for example, is followed by a rethinking, by the categoricalness through which the learned is derived.


"All three times I pretended I didn't understand you.
I was wrong three times. "

"And I'm absolutely sure the pain
there is nothing to do with the spelling
the size of sadness. "


As many perspectives change, meet, look at, whether the messages are self-esteem or directed at the other, whether they are directed to the past or project the future, the inner urge of the poetry book is to guide us through the cycle of growth, of life .


20 m2

A child roars behind one wall,
dressed in one of her finest clothes,
and mercy fills the eyes of all the grandmothers,
grandparents, parents and family friends.

In minutes, on the other hand,
daughters, wives and sons have no power
to hold back their tears while in front of them
lies a man dressed in his best suit.

Let someone convince me that life
can't make a full circle
in a church.


Separated by walls, beginning and end are just moments set in twenty square meters. The poem quoted in its entirety is indicative of the book. In it, as in "Room", "From this city they just leave", "This old town", "Her hair is still salty", space is assimilated, experienced. It passes through places. They keep confessions, silences, accusations. They raise questions; desire to escape. They are measured, limited receptacles of the human, but also worlds conquered by the nomad (by the working name of the book). They have been turned into memory and occasion. They function through the memory they embody, in whose volumes lives are sealed.


Thus in the diptych "Prayer" the apartment is as important as the dream and the song, because they recreate the image of the loved one when he is gone. The work not only brings together the themes of gender, family order, love, faith, prayer that are permanently present in the book. It is a cry for the other, the stripping of the painful of loss, the shaking of the linear length of time, the reconciliation with the healing nature of the rescue illusions. Grief brings the family together. But it is different for everyone, it cannot be compared or measured. It continues after the prayers and after the writing, after its non-utterance.


How long the moment before growing up is the indirect question that changes as it resonates less or more strongly than the poems. The derivative line of nutrition - did I wipe or slow, stop or continue, remember or forget - most clearly manifested in the deliberate dialogue between "Do you want to ask questions?" And "Do you want to see how many answers I have remember? "


As it became clear, the book also contains works that are directed towards the other, to a "particular" person. But even though the figure of the fictitious interlocutor is not always named or marked, it seems never to be absent. It is a signal of movement, of touch and experience. Behind the extramarital conversation there is an evoked, hidden and only then uttered emotion. The dialogue is followed by a departure and a new lesson.

In Delayed Proposal, the other is late, and departure alerts both days, hours, seconds and the absence of the acquaintance. In "Eternity" age is represented as an idea related to the presence of the interlocutor, or rather, the initiating listener here, while the eternal eternity is equated with the brief moment of togetherness.


It should be noted that in the debut of Lilia Ynovova there are poems like "I almost laughed". They rely on the fun-ironic. But the thread of the humorous is subdued by the contrast manifested and thoughtful here at the level of the book, though it is not isolated to individual works only. It is the half-hidden back, the unobtrusive distance, the natural breathing of confessions, mistakes and responsibilities, of expected and unexpected robberies, of overwhelmed fears, of lingering pain.


"The moment before growing up" is a revision of the previous, rearrangement of the individual world. Once the moment has passed, there is no room for the unnatural in the interior. As you grow, get to know, learn and understand that what is stolen cannot be returned to you, that you lose hopes, dreams, people, the pain accumulates…


"But you know it's obligatory,
so you can continue to grow. "


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