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Poetry in Translation (XCI): Radu GYR – (Ridică-te, Gheorghe, ridică-te, Ioane!) Arise, brother Andrew, arise, brother John!

September 27th, 2011 · 4 Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Radu GYR (1905-1975), Romanian poet, political prisoner

Radu GYR – “Ridică-te, Gheorghe, ridică-te, Ioane!” (Arise, brother Andrew, arise, brother John!)

Nu pentru-o lopată de rumenă pâine,
nu pentru patule, nu pentru pogoane,
ci pentru văzduhul tău liber de mâine,
ridică-te, Gheorghe, ridică-te, Ioane!

Pentru sângele neamului tău curs prin şanţuri,
pentru cântecul tău ţintuit în piroane,
pentru lacrima soarelui tău pus în lanţuri,
ridică-te, Gheorghe, ridică-te, Ioane!

Nu pentru mania scrâşnită-n măsele,
ci ca să aduni chiuind pe tapsane
o claie de zări şi-o căciula de stele,
ridică-te, Gheorghe, ridică-te, Ioane!

Aşa, ca să bei libertatea din ciuturi
şi-n ea să te-afunzi ca un cer în bulboane
şi zărzării ei peste tine să-i scuturi,
ridică-te, Gheorghe, ridică-te, Ioane!

Şi ca să pui tot sărutul fierbinte
pe praguri, pe prispe, pe uşi, pe icoane,
pe toate ce slobode-ţi ies inainte,
ridică-te, Gheorghe, ridică-te, Ioane!

Ridică-te, Gheorghe, pe lanţuri, pe funii!
Ridică-te, Ioane, pe sfinte ciolane!
Şi sus, spre lumina din urmă-a furtunii,
ridică-te, Gheorghe, ridică-te, Ioane!

Arise brother Andrew, arise brother John
(by Radu GYR)

It is not for the sake of a bread on your table,
it is neither for pastures and nor for the stock,
it is rather for living a peace which is stable:
arise brother Andrew, arise brother Jock!

For the sake of your kinsmen who died in the ditches
for the hymns that you sang as you stood in the dock
for the tears of the heavens, as you pained in the shackles
arise brother Andrew, arise brother Jock!

It is not for the anger resounding your body
it’s instead for the sake of your cry to the world,
for the distant horizons with a brimful of planets,
arise brother Andrew, arise brother Jock!

If you wish to regain all the ancestral freedoms,
through the heavenly gates your admission to gain,
break to pieces the shackles which are cutting your body,
arise brother Andrew, arise brother Jock!

As prostrate you may wish once again to embrace
all that’s left from the blaze of your family’s hearth
they all gently come back to take hold of your soul
arise brother Andrew, arise brother Jock!

Arise brother Andrew, by freeing your shackles!
Arise brother Jock, back again on your bones!
Alight to the Heavens, the tempest abated,
arise brother Andrew, arise brother Jock!

(Rendered from Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, September 2011)

Radu Gyr (pen name of Radu Demetrescu; March 2, 1905, Câmpulung-Muscel – 29 April 1975, Bucharest) – Romanian poet, essayist, playwright, journalist, political prisoner.

Radu Demetrescu, aka Radu GYR made his debut at the age of twenty two. He was several times a Laureate of the Society of Romanian Writers to be subsequently employed by the Romanian Academy in its Institute of Romanian Literature. Radu Gyr also held the position of Lecturer of the Department of Romanian Letters and Philosophy, Bucharest University.
In 1940 he is appointed Director General of the nationwide Romanian Theatres, on which occasion he becomes the founder of the “Teatrul Evreiesc” in Bucharest (The Jewish Theatre).
The poet spent time in prison, both before and during the Communist regime.

The above poem caused the writer to be sentenced to death in 1958. However, his life sentence was commuted to a shorter sentence and eventually he was released to be put in charge of the Communist broadcasts aimed at the Romanian diaspora in the West. This was a scenario often replicated in the case of several dissidents who fell foul of the Communist authorities. He died at the age of 70 in Bucharest.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • isabela vasiliu scraba

    In 1985 Principesei Ileana a Romaniei i se publicase volumul “POEMS FROM COMUNIST PRISONS”. Cred ca ar fi interesant de inserat si varianta de traducere a omnitei Ileana. Valeriu Cercel, sculptorul care a realizat Troita rastignirii neamului romanesc de la capataiul mormantului Domnitei Ileana -devenita in 1967 Maica Alexandra (v. Testamentul din 5 febr 1988 publ. in Solia-The Herald din martie 1991)-, scria in Observatorul din Toronto ca Maica Alexandra stia pe de rost poezii ale lui Radu Gyr cuprinse in volumul prefatat de Vintila Horia

  • isabela vasiliu scraba

    V-as sugera sa le rugati pe maicutele (vorbitoare de engl) de la Manastirea “Transfiguration” (321 Monastrery Lane, Ellwood City, P.A. 16117, Tel. 724-758-4002, e-mail omtnuns@gmail.com ) sa fotografieze si sa va trimita din vol. POEMS FROM COMMUNIST PRISON (1985) poeziite traduse de Maica Alexandra/Domnita Ileana pentru a le posta alaturi de variantele propuse de Dvs. Nu cred sa fie mai bune sau mai rele (Domnita picta f. bine, cu versificatia nu stiu cum statea). Stiu doar ca s-ar apropia mai mult de original ambele variante puse alaturi. Prin 1988 m-am ocupat de inerpretarea unor tradedii antice si cu acea ocazie am aflat de la profesoara mea de greaca (dna Adelina Piatkovschi) un fapt care atunci m-a intrigat: traducatori succesivi preluau din versurile reusite ale anteceorilor. Acum privesc cu alti ochi acest procedeu. Fiindca se tindea spre perfectionarea traducerilor. Cred ca la Manastirea infiintata de Domnita Ileana se gasesc volumele publicate de ea. Unele le-am citit eu pe internet. Dar n-am gasit si traducerea pe care ea a facut-o poeziilor din inchisorile unde mercenarii ocupantului sovietic au schingiuit cca doua milioane de romani omorand vreo optsute de mii.

  • Paul

    frumoasa traducerea, dar departe tare de adevar… de fiorul transmis de varianta in romana…

  • editor

    Thank you for your comment:the conundrum is intractable, but, as always, we will invite the reader to propose a better, or even an alternative version.
    Here the philosophy of the English version, apart from the translation per se, is to preserve the rhythm and/or the musicality, the rhyme and, as much as possible, the Spirit you refer to in your message.
    Of course, there is a price to pay for each and every compromise, summed up by the classic adage
    . Once the translator feels that he may have compromised too much the spirit of the poet, then he is expected to search for a new solution, involving a fresh compromise.
    One reader, in an earlier comment (see above) referred us to the translation published by the late Pss Ileana. Having read this I found that the solution offered in the American edition was a translation in Prose… a completely different option, which we decided not to espouse. The debate remains open!

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