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Poetry in translation (CCLXVI): Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), Italy/Tuscany: “Poem”, “Poem”

February 26th, 2014 · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in translation (CCLXVI): Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), Italy/Tuscany ): “Poem”, “Poem”

Michelangelo2

POEM
Michelangelo Buonarroti
(1475-1564)

Ravished by all that to the eyes is fair,
Yet hungry for the joys that truly bless,
My soul can find no stair
To mount to heaven, save earth’s loveliness.

For from the stars above
Descends a glorious light
That lifts our longing to their highest height
And bears the name of love
Nor is there aught can move
A gentle heart, or purge or make it wise
But beauty and the starlight of her eyes.

(Translated into English by
George Santayana, (1863-1952))

Poem
Michelangelo Buonarroti
(1475-1564)

Sedus de aparenţe orbitoare,
Încurajat de bucurii ascunse,
Vreau sufletu-mi să zboare către soare,
Dar căile sunt lungi si nepătrunse.

Din bolta cerului divin, sclipiri pierdute
Ne scaldă in a Domnului lumină,
Facând din vis o dragoste deplină,
Pe culmi de nesperat si neştiute.

Când dragostea in piept sălăşluieşte,
Iar drumul lung e fratele ispitei,
Icoana ei, din ceruri, mă priveşte
Cu ochi de neuitat, a prea-iubitei.

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2014 Copyright Constantin ROMAN

michelangelo Anecdotal Bio:
Though we refer to him as Michelangelo his full name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.
Michelangelo was raised in Florence.
Michelangelo’s mother died when he was only six.
Michelangelo was the second oldest of five boys: Lionardo (b. 1473) (Michelangelo born 1475) Buonarroto (b. 1477) Giovansimone (b. 1479) Gismondo (b.1481)
Michelangelo sculpted David and Pieta, designed a dome for St. Peter’s Basilica, and painted frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel all before he was 30 years old.
Michelangelo was created the greatest living artist of his time.
Michelangelo spent four years working on the dome of the Sistine Chapel. He stood on a scaffold and painted over his head, unlike the popular belief that he painted while laying down.
Michelangelo died in Rome in 1564. His remains were secretly returned to Florence and interred at the Basilica of Santa Croce, according to his wishes.
Michelangelo was hit in the nose as a teenager by Pietro Torrigiano, a fellow art student at an art academy in Florence. The incident left him with a permanently crooked nose.
In his old age Michelangelo nearly lived as a hermit rarely coming into contact with others except when his work brought contact about. He lived in squalor despite being rich.
Michelangelo did not marry and had no children but was rumored to have love affairs with Tommaso dei Cavalieri and the poet Vittoria Colonna.
Michelangelo wrote countless letters throughout his career, some 490 have survived and contain original signatures.
Michelangelo was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was still alive.
From 1527-1529 Michelangelo took a break from art and joined the army to defend the Republic of Florence. He worked as an engineer creating fortifications to protect the city.
Michelangelo was also a poet, there are some 300 poetic works still in existence that are attributed to him.
Michelangelo was often dissatisfied with himself and his work. He was known for his sharp, critical, volatile temperament.
Towards the end of his life Michelangelo destroyed many of his sketches not wanting people to know how hard he worked.

Source:

http://www.michelangelo-gallery.com/fun-facts.aspx

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Poetry in translation (CCLXV): Taras SHEVCHENKO (1814-1861, UKRAINE): “It Makes No Difference To Me ”, “Nu-mi pasă”

February 25th, 2014 · Diaspora, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in translation (CCLXV): Taras SHEVCHENKO (1814-1861, UKRAINE): “It Makes No Difference To Me ”, “Nu-mi pasă”

Shevchenko selfportrait

Shevchenko selfportrait


It Makes No Difference To Me
Taras SHEVCHENKO (1814-1861)

It makes no difference to me,
If I shall live or not in Ukraine
Or whether any one shall think
Of me ‘mid foreign snow and rain.

It makes no difference to me.
In slavery I grew ‘mid strangers,
Unwept by any kin of mine;
In slavery I now will die
And vanish without any sign.

I shall not leave the slightest trace
Upon our glorious Ukraine,
Our land, but not as ours known.
No father will remind his son
Or say to him, “Repeat one prayer,
One prayer for him; for our Ukraine
They tortured him in their foul lair.”

It makes no difference to me,
If that son says a prayer or not.
It makes great difference to me
That evil folk and wicked men
Attack our Ukraine, once so free,
And rob and plunder it at will.
That makes great difference to me.

(Taras Shevchenko
St. Petersburg Citadel Prison, May 1847
Translated by Clarence A. Manning,
Columbia University, New York, 1944)

NU-MI PASĂ
Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861)

(Scris în închisoarea fortăreţei Sankt Petersburg, Mai 1847)

De voi trăi în ţara mea,
Sau dacă veţi gândi cumva
De mine, ca străin,
Vă zic că-mi pasă prea puţin.

Iobag, născut printre străini,
Jelit de fraţi, fără suspin,
Şi, chiar iobag de voi muri,
Îmi pasă prea puţin.

Mormântul meu va fi demult uitat
În ţara unde m-am născut,
Dar cărei n-am aparţinut.
Dar când tătâne-miu, neîncetat,
Îmi va cânta-n genunchi, o rugăciune,
Tu miluieşte-i Doamne-al său tribut,
Căci am murit pe roată, pentru tine.

Imi pasă-acuma prea puţin.
De-mi vei rosti vre-o rugăciune.
Dar zic, căci este crezul meu,
Când oameni fără Dumnezeu,
Afurisi-vor al tău nume,
Ca să-l despoaie de trecut.
E greu, aşa, să fi crezut!

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2014 Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

View of Chersonessus, Ukraine, Black Sea

View of Chersonessus, Ukraine, Black Sea

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Poetry in translation (CCLXIV), Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND): “Fantasia Caprese secondo lo stile di Eugenio Montale”, “Capri – o fantezie in stilul lui Eugenio Montale”

February 24th, 2014 · Diaspora, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in translation (CCLXIV), Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND): “Fantasia Caprese secondo lo stile di Eugenio Montale”, “Capri – o fantezie in stilul lui Eugenio Montale”

Italia Isola

Fantasia Caprese secondo lo stile di Eugenio Montale
Anche la speranza di pure rivederti

Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND)

The hope of
even seeing you again
deserted me;
and left me wondering
if what denies me,
my love for you,
my empty dreams,
is nothing else than
a sign of death,
or, would it be,
perhaps,
our hollow secret,
now distorted,
the mirror
of your bedazzlement,
nothing more than
the errand ghost
of a senile mind;

(at Capri, along the cypress avenue,
Baron von Gloden parades
his gilded coach
led by a liveried Cossack,
lashing his silver whip
on the rump of
a Calabrian stallion)

© Copyright, Constantin ROMAN, London, 2014

Coaches  Livery

Capri – o fantezie in stilul lui Eugenio Montale:
‘Anche la speranza di pure rivederti’

Speranţa de a te revedea
m-a părăsit;
şi mă întreb,
dece dorul aprins pentru tine,
umbra viselor mele,
nu este altceva decât o
premoniţie a morţii,
sau poate
o revelaţie fugară
a trecutului,
fantasma ta orbitoare,
stafie obsedantă
a unei minţi senile?

(la Capri,
pe bulevardul cu chiparoşi,
Baronul von Gloden
face paradă
în caleaşca lui poleită
cu un lacheu Cazac în livrea
dând bice crupei
unui armăsar Calabrez).

© Copyright, Constantin ROMAN, London, 2014

stallions

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Poetry in translation (CCLXIII), Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND): “Anghinare, sau Carciofo alla Giudia – o Reţetă Evreiască din Roma”

February 23rd, 2014 · Books, Diaspora, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in translation (CCLXIII), Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND): “Anghinare, sau Carciofo alla Giudia – o Reţetă Evreiască din Roma”

Roma: Carciofo alla Giudia

Roma: Carciofo alla Giudia


Anghinare – Carciofo alla Giudia!
(Constantin ROMAN, London)

A fost o dată, ca nici o dată,
A fost o dată un boboc de anghinare,
Cocoţat, măreţ, în creştetul tulpinii,
Precum Vodă prin lobodă,
Plin de el, privind de jur împrejur,
Din turnul lui de fildeş,
Grădina de zarzavaturi,
Închipuindu-şi că ar fi chiar farul portului,
Blagoslovind bărcile pescarilor
În zorii fiecărei zi.

Dar, într-o bună zi, necruţătorul soare
S-a hotărât să pună capăt situaţiei,
Vopsindu-i părul albastru,
După felul stilului punk,
Ca să ademenească fluturii.
Şi atunci, Şefu’,
A dat ordin bucătarului să îi reteze capul,
Înainte ca acesta să devină copt.

Bucătarul conformist, i-a tăiat capul pe loc,
Cu un cuţit, bine ascuţit,
Umilindu-l chiar, ca să-l înghesuie, apoi,
În aceeaşi traistă cu cepele roşii
Şi căpăţânile de usturoi:
Atunci, un fir de mentă, făcându-i-se milă de el,
L-a miluit cu parfumul ei.

Dar ca şi cum umillirea asta
Nu i-ar fi fost îndeajuns,
Atunci a fost dat pe mâna bucătarului,
Pus într-o oală de apă clocotită,
Din care n-a fost scos, decât după ce a ameninţat
Că va deveni un terci fără gust.

Dar necazul nu s-a sfârşit aici,
Căci, apoi, tot părul i s-a smuls din cap,
Lăsându-i doar sufletul, gol-golut,
Acoperindu-şi ruşinea, cu un sos de maioneză.

Când s-a privit în oglindă,
Nici nu i-a mai venit să creadă,
Strigând, cu mânie, şefului bucătar:
- Cândva, Io am fost, chiar, ‘Vodă prin lobodă’
Iar acum, nici nu mai ştiu cum mă cheamă!
La care Şefu’ i-a răspuns, sec:
- Carciofo alla Giudia!

© Copyright, Constantin ROMAN, London
Carciofo Kosher

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Poetry in translation (CCLXII), Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND): “Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recipe”

February 23rd, 2014 · Diaspora, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in translation (CCLXII), Constantin ROMAN (ENGLAND): “Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recipe”

Carciofo alla Giudia - a Roman Recipe

Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recipe

Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recipe
(Constantin ROMAN, London)

Once, upon a time, I was an artichoke,
Proudly perched on top of a long stem -
The king of the castle,
Scrutinizing the outskirts of the vegetable patch -
Head above all my kindred,
Beaming with self-esteem,
Dreaming to become a Mediterranean lighthouse,
Seeing off the fishermen’s boats,
On their way to a day’s meagre catch.

Yet, the unrelenting sun
Conspired to bring my demise,
By adding a blush of purple to my head,
Making me look like a punk,
Attracting the attention of all butterflies,
And, not in the least, of the Master…
He ordered at once my head to be chopped off,
Before it turned to seed.

Obligingly, Chef decapitated me, at once,
With his sharp blade,
Cut me to size and belittled me,
By making me share a basket
With some red onions
And a few garlic heads:
Only a sprig of mint took pity at my poor self,
Comforting me with its soothing scent.

But my humiliation was not over, yet,
As worse was to come,
Being dispatched to the Kitchen,
Thrown into a pot of boiling water
And rescued only when I threatened
Turning into a tasteless pulp.

Yet my terror was greater still,
When all my hair was plucked out,
To leave my bare soul covered
Only by a few leaves,
Decorating the bottom of my heart.

I could not believe the state I was in
And cried bitterly, reproaching Chef:
- Once upon a time
I was the King of the Castle:
Now, look what has become of me!

To this, Chef answered, glibly:
- Carciofo alla Giudia!

© Copyright, Constantin ROMAN, London

Carciofo alla Giudia - a Roman Recepe

Carciofo alla Giudia – a Roman Recepe

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Poetry in translation (CCLXI): Francesco GABELLINI (b. 1962, Emilia Romagna, Italy): “Timpul care îl dai”, “The Time you give”

February 21st, 2014 · Books, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in translation (CCLXI), Francesco GABELLINI (b. 1962, Emilia Romagna, Italy): “Timpul care îl dai”, “The Time you give”

Timpul care îl dai
(The Time You Give)
Francesco GABELLINI

(b. 1962, Riccione, Emilia Romagna)

Timpul care îl dai, timpul
care îl iei, grăunte de nisip,
care îţi orbeşte ochiul.
Frăgezimea jocului şi pielea ta
albă cu parfum de pâine proaspătă
din zorii zilei.

Timpul care îl dai, timpul
care îl iei, ca mâna
care mângâie colina,
bate piatra, cântăreşte oasele.
Timpul care trece domol,
pe care îl ghiceşti.

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN
© Copyright, Constantin ROMAN, London

Francesco GABELLINI

Francesco GABELLINI

BIO NOTE: Francesco Gabellini è nato nel 1962 a Riccione. Vive a Montecolombo (Rn). Ha pubblicato cinque raccolte di poesie in dialetto romagnolo: nel 1997 “Aqua de silénzie” (Acqua del silenzio) per l’Editore “AIEP” di San Marino; nel 2000 “Da un scur a cl’èlt” (Da un buio all’altro) per le Edizioni “La vita felice” di Milano. Nel 2003 “Sluntanès”, Pazzini Editore, Villa Verucchio (RN). Nel 2008 “Caléndre” Raffaelli Editore Rimini. Nel 2011, “A la mnuda” Giuliano Ladolfi Editore, Borgo Manero (Novara). Le sue opere sono risultate vincitrici o finaliste in numerosi importanti concorsi letterari nazionali e sono state pubblicate su varie riviste culturali. Note critiche sulla sua poesia, insieme ad alcuni testi, appaiono in “Poeti in romagnolo del secondo Novecento”, a cura di Pietro Civitareale, Editrice “La Mandragora”, 2005. Suoi testi poetici sono inclusi nell’antologia “Poeti in romagnolo del novecento” a cura di Pietro Civitareale, Edizioni Cofine Roma, 2006. Nel 2006 viene inserito nel “Dizionario dei poeti dialettali romagnoli del 900” a cura di Gianni Fucci e Giuseppe Bellosi, Edizioni Pazzini 2006 Villa Verucchio (RN).
Con il monologo in dialetto romagnolo “L’ultimo sarto” è stato finalista nel 2005 alla 48ª edizione del Premio Riccione per il teatro. Nel 2009, riceve il Premio Franco Enriquez per la drammaturgia.
Durante la stagione teatrale 2010/2011, l’attore Ivano Marescotti ha messo in scena un suo testo, intitolato “Detector”.

Gabellini - Poet from Romagna

Gabellini – Poet from Romagna

EDITOR’S NOTE: The translation of the anthology ‘Poets from Romagna’ is part of a larger and innovative project conceived by the translators to present ‘Italian authors who do not speak/write/dream only in Italian but in regional languages, to reach the world in English’. In the second in this unique series Guiseppe Bellosi presents parallel texts in Romagnolo and English from nine poets: Nevio Spadoni, Giuseppe Bellosi and Giovanni Nadiani belong to the Ravenna plain dialects; Laura Turci writes in the Meldola dialect, the hill area of Forlì; Dolfo Nardini uses the Cesena dialect; Fabio Molari a dialect of the Cesena hill area similar to the Santarcangelo dialect of Annalisa Teodorani and Miro Gori from San Mauro. At the extreme south of Romagna is Francesco Gabellini, Riccione having distinctive characteristics from nearby Rimini.
The Romagna poets featured in this anthology are part of a long and well-established tradition in the panorama of literature in dialect after the Second World War.

GIUSEPPE BELLOSI is a journalist and researching working in the documentation and the study of dialects, dialectal literature and folk traditions. He has published several academic books in these areas as well as several poetry collections.

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POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCLX), SPAIN, Gustavo Adolfo BÉCQUER (1836, Sevilla – 1870): “Los suspiros “, “Suspine”, “Sospiri”, “Sighs”,

February 20th, 2014 · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCLX), SPAIN, Gustavo Adolfo BÉCQUER (Sevilla, 1836 – 1870): “Los suspiros “, “Suspine”, “Sospiri”, “Sighs”,

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
(1836-1870)
Los suspiros

Los suspiros son aire y van al aire!
Las lágrimas son agua y van al mar!
Dime, mujer, cuando el amor se olvida
¿sabes tú adónde va?

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
(1836-1870)
Suspine

Suspinele sunt o adiere de aer ce se pierde în aer!
Lacrimile sunt doar o apă ce curge la vale!
Spune-mi, muiere: când dragostea e pierdută,
Ştii unde se duce?

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN
© Constantin ROMAN, London

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
(1836-1870)
Sospiri

Sospiri sonno aria e vanno al aria
Le lacrime sono l‘acqua e vanno al mare
Dimmi donna, quando l’amore è dimenticato
Lo sai dove va?

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
(1836-1870)
Sighs

Sighs are air and go into the air!
Tears are water and go to sea!
Tell me woman when love is forgotten
Do you know where it goes?

gustavo Becquer SHORT BIO:
Gustavo Adolfo Claudio Domínguez Bastida, better known as Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, (February 17, 1836, Seville – December 22, 1870) was a Spanish post-romanticist poet and writer (mostly short stories), also a playwright, literary columnist, and talented drawer. Today he is considered one of the most important figures in Spanish literature, and is considered by some as the most read writer after Cervantes. He adopted the alias of Bécquer as his brother Valeriano Bécquer, a painter, had done earlier. He was associated with the post-romanticism movement and wrote while realism was enjoying success in Spain. He was moderately well known during his life, but it was after his death that most of his works were published. His best known works are the Rhymes and the Legends, usually published together as Rimas y leyendas. These poems and tales are essential to the study of Spanish literature and common reading for high-school students in Spanish-speaking countries.
His work approached the traditional poetry and themes in a modern way, and he is considered the founder of modern Spanish lyricism. Bécquer’s influence on 20th-century poets of the Spanish language can be felt in the works of Luis Cernuda, Octavio Paz, and Giannina Braschi.

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POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCLIX), AUSTRIA, Alfred BRENDEL (b. 1931) : “Über mich selbst gebeugt”, “Bent over myself ”, “Privindu-mă mai atent”

February 18th, 2014 · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCLIX), AUSTRIA, Alfred BRENDEL (b. 1931) : “Über mich selbst gebeugt”, “Bent over myself ”, “Privindu-mă mai atent”

alfred brendel

Über mich selbst gebeugt
Alfred BRENDEL

Über mich selbst gebeugt
sehe ich
unscharf
mein fremdes Gesicht
Gefäß des Zweifels
Chronik des Vergessens
Mühlstein täuschender Erinnerung
über den der Atem des Wassers
gleichgültig hinwegzieht

Bent over myself
Alfred BRENDEL

Bent over myself
I see
the blurred outline
of an unfamiliar face
a vessel of doubt
chronicle of oblivion
millstone of fraudulent memory
casually washed over
by the water’s breath

© Translation: Richard Stokes and Alfred Brendel

Privindu-mă mai atent
Alfred BRENDEL

Privindu-mă mai atent
desluşesc profilul şters
al unei fețe străine
pocal de îndoială
cronică de uitare
piatră de moară de memorie dubioasă
frugal spălată
de respirația apei

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN
© Constantin ROMAN, London

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THREE POEMS IN TRANSLATION, (CCLVI-CCLVIII), GREECE, George SEFERIS (1900 – 1971): `’Epitaf”, “Epitaph”, “Duminică”, “Sunday”, “Bitter Moments”, “Clipe amare”

February 14th, 2014 · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

THREE POEMS IN TRANSLATION, (CCLVI-CCLVIII), GREECE, George SEFERIS (1900 – 1971): `’Epitaf”, “Epitaph”, “Duminică”, “Sunday”, “Bitter Moments”, “Clipe amare”

seferis biography
EPITAF
George SEFERIS

Cărbunii aprinşi în ceaţă
erau trandafiri inflorind în inima ta,
iar cenuşa îti acoperea faţa,
în fiecare dimineaţă.
Rupând umbrele chiparoşilor,
tu plecat-ai astă vară.

Versiune în limba Română de Constantin ROMAN,
© 2014, Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

Epitaph
George SEFERIS

Coals in the fog
were roses rooted in your heart
and the ashes covered your face
each morning.
Plucking cypress shadows
You left a summer ago.

POETRY IN TRANSLATION, (CCLVII), GREECE, George SEFERIS (1900 – 1971): “Duminica”, “Sunday”

DUMINICA
George SEFERIS

Doi armăsari şi o trasură, sau aşa ceva,
în stradă, la fereastra mea:
asta e gălăgia!
In curând se va însera; văd pedimentul cu statui fără braţe
privindu-mă.
Oare ce fac statuile?
Prefer o picătură de sânge, decât un pahar cu lapte.

Versiune în limba Română de Constantin ROMAN,
© 2014, Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

SUNDAY
George SEFERIS

Two heavy horses and a slow carriage, that, or something else,
in the street, outside my window:
that’s the noise.
Soon it will be dark; I see a pediment of amputated statues
still looking at me.
What do statues weigh?
I prefer a drop of blood to a glass of milk.

POETRY IN TRANSLATION, (CCLVIII), GREECE, George SEFERIS (1900 – 1971): “Bitter Moments”, “Clipe amare”

BITTER MOMENTS
George SEFERIS

Between the bitter moments you don’t have time even to breathe
between your face and your face
the tender form of child takes shape and vanishes.

CLIPE AMARE
George SEFERIS

Intre două clipe nici măcar nu mai ai timp să respiri
între profilul tău şi profilul tău
faţa ta fragedă de copil se înfiripă şi apoi dispare.

Versiune în limba Română de Constantin ROMAN,
© 2014, Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

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POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCLV), GREECE, George SEFERIS (1900 – 1971): “Întoarcere din Exil”, “The Return of the Exile”

February 12th, 2014 · Books, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCLV), GREECE, George SEFERIS (1900 – 1971): “Întoarcere din Exil”, “The Return of the Exile”

Seferis - Complete Poems

Seferis – Complete Poems


Întoarcere din Exil
George SEFERIS (1900 – 1971)

- Amice de demult, ce cauţi anume?
Dup-atât amar de ani, înstrăinat, te-ai întors
cu idei la care te-ai adăpat
sub ceruri străine,
departe de ţara-mumă.

- Caut grădina copilăriei mele;
pomii acum, îmi sunt până la brâu,
iar dealurile arată de-o şchioapă,
dar când eram copil
mă jucam pe iarbă,
la umbra deasă a pomilor
şi alergam ore întregi
gâfâind pe dealuri.

- Prietene, stai liniştit,
încetul cu încetul te vei obşinui,
o să urcăm împreună
potecile ce le ştiai odată,
o să ne aşezăm
la umbra bătrânului pom.
Încetul cu încetul imaginile
grădinii şi a dealurilor se vor împrospăta în mintea ta.

- Dar eu caut casa mea părintească,
cu ferestre înalte,
umbrite de iederă;
Şi iarăşi caut farul
ştiut de marinari.
Cum voi putea pătrunde într-o astfel de bojdeucă?
Acoperişul îmi vine de abea la umeri
şi ori unde aşi privi
găsesc mereu oameni îngenunchiaţi
făcând mătănii.

- Prietene, ascultă,
te vei obisnui, încetul cu încetul.
Asta este casa ta, la care te uiţi acuma,
iar în curând, prietenii si rudele tale
îţi vor bătea la uşe
să-ţi ureze bun-venit.

- Dar dece, spune-mi, dece vocea ta este atât de slabă?
Ridică-ţi fruntea
ca să te pot desluşi.
Pe măsură ce glăsuieşti, tu
devii din ce în ce mai mărunt, ca şi cum
te-ai înfunda în ţărână.

- Prietene, adastă o clipă şi cugetă:
te vei obişnui, încetul cu încetul.
Nostalgia ta şi-a închipuit
o ţară neobişnuită, cu legi
necunoscute de nimeni pe Pămant.

- Acum nu te mai pot auzi deloc.
Ultimul meu prieten a dispărut.
Ce curios e să vezi, cum, încet, încet,
toţi se fac o apă şi-un pământ.
Acum o mie si unu de care de luptă trec
secerând totul la pământ.

Versiune în limba Română de Constantin ROMAN,
© 2014, Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

SHORT NOTE ON: “THE RETURN OF THE EXILE”: Below is Giorgios Seferis’ great poem, The Return of the Exile, about the perennial Greek theme of nostalgia and what awaits the nostos – Odysseus, Agamemnon, Orestes, the Greek refugee, immigrant, etc, etc – when he returns to his homeland after years in a foreign country. The poem has been set to music by Yiannis Markopoulos and I’ve made the song available in Radio Akritas. The singers are Ioanna Kiourtsoglou and Lakis Halkias

The return of the exile
George SEFERIS

‘My old friend, what are you looking for?
After years abroad you’ve come back
with images you’ve nourished
under foreign skies
far from you own country.’

‘I’m looking for my old garden;
the trees come to my waist
and the hills resemble terraces
yet as a child
I used to play on the grass
under great shadows
and I would run for hours
breathless over the slopes.’

‘My old friend, rest,
you’ll get used to it little by little;
together we will climb
the paths you once knew,
we will sit together
under the plane trees’ dome.
They’ll come back to you little by little,
your garden and your slopes.’

‘I’m looking for my old house,
the tall windows
darkened by ivy;
I’m looking for the ancient column
known to sailors.
How can I get into this coop?
The roof comes to my shoulders
and however far I look
I see men on their knees
as though saying their prayers.’

‘My old friend, don’t you hear me?
You’ll get used to it little by little.
Your house is the one you see
and soon friends and relatives
will come knocking at the door
to welcome you back tenderly.’

‘Why is your voice so distant?
Raise your head a little
so that I understand you.
As you speak you grow
gradually smaller
as though you’re sinking into the ground.’

‘My old friend, stop a moment and think:
you’ll get used to it little by little.
Your nostalgia has created
a non-existent country, with laws
alien to earth and man.’

‘Now I can’t hear a sound.
My last friend has sunk.
Strange how from time to time
they level everything down.
Here a thousand scythe-bearing chariots go past
and mow everything down.’

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