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Entries from November 28th, 2012

Poetry in Translation (CL): Sándor Petőfi (1823-1849), Hungary, “Fa Leszek ”, “I’ll be a tree”, “De-aşi fi un pom”

November 28th, 2012 · No Comments · International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Fa leszek, ha fának vagy virága.
Ha harmat vagy: én virág leszek.
Harmat leszek, ha te napsugár vagy…
Csak, hogy lényink egyesüljenek.

I’ll be a tree, if you are its flower,
Or a flower, if you are the dew-
I’ll be the dew, if you are the sunbeam,
Only to be united with you.

Un pom aşi fi, dac-ai fi floarea lui,
Sau o floare, dac-ai fi roua.
Aşi fi rouă, dacă soare vei fi,
Să ne ne iubim în fiecare zi.

(Rendered in Romanian
by Constantin ROMAN, Londra,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

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Poetry in Translation (CXLIX): Antonio MACHADO (1875-1939), SPAIN, “Proverbios y cantares”, “Proverbe şi cântece”

November 28th, 2012 · No Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar.

Trecătorule, paşii tăi sunt chiar
calea aceasta şi nimic altceva;
trecătorule, calea nu există,
calea se naşte din mers.
Mergând creăm drumul,
iar privind înapoi
vedem cărarea
ce nu mai trebuie străbătută, din nou, niciodata.
Trecătorule, calea nu există…
Doar stele pe cer.

(Rendered in Romanian
by Constantin ROMAN, Londra,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

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Poetry in Translation (CXLVIII): Sergiu MANDINESCU (1926-1964), ROMANIA, “. “Amen – (Prison Prayer)”, “ AMIN (Reeducare)”

November 25th, 2012 · No Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations, Uncategorized

Sergiu MANDINESCU (1926-1964), ROMANIA, Poet of the Communist Prisons. “Amen – (Prison Prayer)”, “ AMIN (Reeducare)”, “ AMIN (Reeducare)” If I only had an angel’s quill
and the dark ink of night
perhaps only then I might
gather from all my vagaries
to write my memories
telling why I’m bleeding, I will.

“ AMIN (Reeducare)”
Sergiu MANDINESCU (1926-1964), ROMANIA,

De-aş avea o pană de înger
Şi cerneală de bezne,
Poate că abia atunci mi-ar fi lesne
Să mă adun din toate risipirile,
Să-mi scriu amintirile
Şi să spun tuturor de ce sânger.

Era o noapte jefuită de stele…

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Poetry in Translation (CXLVII): Aleš ŠTEGER (b. 1973), SLOVENIA, “Europe”, “ Europa”

November 23rd, 2012 · No Comments · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

“Still you think you’ll give the lie to all of us.
When I close my tired eyes, you appear
In the form of a hairy fat woman who gives birth while snoring
And of the man in the dark beside her secretly masturbating,
Thinking about America.”
Şi totuşi te încăpăţânezi să ne vinzi minciuna ta.
De câte ori închid pleoapele ochilor mei obosiţi, tu reapari
Ca fantoma unei codoaşe grase si păroase, fătând în timpul somnului,
În timp ce lângă ea, culcat în întuneric, un bărbat se masturbează pe furiş,
Visând despre America.

(Rendered in Romanian
by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

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Poetry in Translation (CXLVI): Sergiu MANDINESCU (1926-1964), ROMANIA, “Prison Warder”, “ Suflet de călău”

November 22nd, 2012 · No Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

A muffled night
a bottomless abyss
a peacock’s cry
that never goes amiss.
Great panthers watching in the night
and tigers ready for the pounce,
the pythons flawlessly advance
a path so trite.
The shadow’s silence so profound
fills to the brim the darkest mind –
a jungle full of beasts of any kind,
but human soul is nowhere to be found!

(Rendered in English, from the Romanian original,
by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

Sergiu MANDINESCU (1926-1964) – Biographical Note:

Sergiu Mandinescu was a son of Bucovina, who died prematurely at the age of 38, of which 14 years, between 1949 and 1963, were spent in the harshest Communist prisons: Jilava, Pitesti, Gherla, Aiud and more.
He died within one year of being released from prison, having barely had time to put pen to paper – his own poems that he memorized in the darkest prison cells.
Sergiu was only 23 years of age when he was imprisoned by the Communists and was discharged at the age of 37, only to pass away a year later.

Even after the demise of Ceausescu, 25 years after Mandinescu’s death, Romania was not ready to confront the demons of its past, as the “post-Communist” publishing houses still blackballed the publications of the poet’s verse. However, a handful of these appeared in print, first, before 1989, through the effort of the Romanian Diaspora and of late, in Romania, on the Internet and in some provincial literary magazines.
Considering the aforesaid, one can reasonably state, without fear of contradiction, that the conspiracy of silence is still alive and well in the Carpathian lands, in the guise of a pre programmed amnesia, through the good offices of overt and covert gremlins, perched in lucrative sinecures: the latter are at work, full time, like termites, until the whole shebang would implode: never too soon!

Addendum:
There seems to be no portrait extant of Sergiu Mandinescu, even though, given the assiduous efforts of the Romanian secret services, there ought to be some prison photos when he was indicted and therefore available in the late poet’s Securitate files.

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Poetry in Translation (CXLV): Elizabeta BAKOVSKA (b.1969) Macedonia, “How we speak”, “Cum vorbim”

November 16th, 2012 · No Comments · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Do you remember me
your hand asks me.
Your eyes are a dry desert sky.
On my chest I have a hole,
when it rains
my heart is wet.
I comfort you
with muscle contractions
one small,
two strong,
one small.
Save our souls
from this ship that endlessly sinks.
We keep quiet,
for we are bad translators
of our love.

Mai îţi aminteşti de mine,
mă întreabă mâna mea.
Ochii tăi reflectă cerul pustiului.
În piept am o gaură,
iar când plouă
inima se înneacă.
Te consolez
cu o zvâcnire de muşchi:
una uşoară, doua puternice
si iarăşi una uşoară.
Doamne, salvează sufletele noastre
din această barcă ce se scufundă.
Stăm liniştiţi,
căci tălmăcim greşit
dragostea noastră.

(Rendered in Romanian
by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

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Poetry in Translation (CXLIV): José Régio (1901-1969) PORTUGAL, “Black Chant”, “Cântec negru”, “Cântico negro”,

November 12th, 2012 · 1 Comment · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations, Uncategorized

ah! don’t give me sympathetic intentions!
don’t asks me for definitions!
don’t tell me: “come this way”!
my life is a whirlwind that broke loose,
it’s a wave that rose.
it’s one more atom that ignited…
I don’t know which way I’ll go,
I don’t know where I’m going to,
– I know I’m not going that way!

ah! şi nu-mi oferi bunele tale intenţii!
nu-mi cere înţelesuri!
nu-mi spune: “vino aici”!
viaţa mea este un vârtej necontrolat
e un val care se înalţă
e un atom în plus care face explozie
nici nu ştiu în ce direcţie voi sfârşi
nici nu ştiu unde merg,
– ştiu doar că nu merg acolo!

Ah, que ninguém me dê piedosas intenções!
Ninguém me peça definições!
Ninguém me diga: “vem por aqui”!
A minha vida é um vendaval que se soltou.
É uma onda que se alevantou.
É um átomo a mais que se animou…
Não sei por onde vou,
Não sei para onde vou
– Sei que não vou por aí!

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Poetry in Translation (CXLIII): Parid TEFERICI (b. 1972, Albania), “Index”, “Direcţie”

November 11th, 2012 · No Comments · Diaspora, International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

INDEX
Farid TEFERICI (b. 1972, Albania)

What point is there in my showing you ‘mongst the crowds
What sort of person I am,
Or the turn in the road you must take to find
My house, where the quince tree is aging in the yard?
Index fingers are the roots that feed
That trunk which offers no leaves, nor fruit, nor shade.
[Index, from the volume Meqenëse sytë, Tirana: Aleph 2003, p. 87. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie]

(Rendered in Romanian
by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

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Poetry in Translation (CXLII): Parid TEFERICI (b. 1972, Albania), “In a Country as Small as This One”, “O ţară atât de mică”

November 10th, 2012 · No Comments · International Media, Poetry, Translations

The Albanian Leviathan is a sardine. The sitting rooms where men gather are tins of sardines. Truth, in order to find space there, has to be folded in two and then folded again.
In a country as small as this, so small that you could easily draw it on a one-to-one scale on this packet of cigarettes, you don’t know where and how to sit or support yourself: on the throat of your neighbour, or on the buttocks of the other fellow’s wife.
Seated, huddled around the coffee table, how can you greet anyone without jabbing someone else with your elbow? How can you pay a compliment without deafening someone?
We can see one another in our spoons, and we are warped.

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Poetry in Translation (CXLI): Parid TEFERICI (b. 1972, Albania), “ The Poet”, “Poetul”

November 10th, 2012 · No Comments · International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

POETUL
Parid TEFERICI (b. 1972, Albania)
Mă împuşcă acolo unde nu sunt.
Se întâmplă chiar să-mi ridice braţul la masă
Să afle dacă nu mă ascund acolo.
Se întâmplă să lase să treacă
Omul care se grăbeşte să mă găsească
Se întâmplă chiar să imi dea foc
Ca să mă dibuie mai bine în întuneric.
Şi totuşi, deşi stau cu spatele la zid
Nu mă împuşcă.

(Rendered in Romanian
by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

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