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Poetry in Translation (XVI – XVII): Florenta ALBU (1934-2003) – “Left – Right …” & “Bucharest Carol”

July 11th, 2003 · No Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations


Swimming in the mud
we are swimming in this historic misery of ours
and that fear
is shouting at us
from the sides
and from behind us
in an interminable rhythm – that silly continuous
left – right – left!

Whilst we – of old and of new
we dastardly exhausted cowards
sunken up to our ears asking
deafening questions
of ourselves, two by two
forward skew-whiff march
left – right – left!

What might be ahead of us
what might be behind us
how much longer till where
this march in the mud
a historical fear over and over again shouting
left – right – left!

Translated by Constantin ROMAN, July 2003
From the Anthology “Greenhouse effect” (Efectul de sera)(1987)

Bucharest Carol
(“Colinda Bucuresteana”)

City of ruined vacant spaces

Three gypsy magi walk into nothingness
Bearing the rising star
To homes porches windows
To nothingness.

City of vacant spaces
clouded in a shroud of lath and mud
– the sunset chant
at the gates of Orient
– a sunset chant.

Oh, our dreams faded ruins!
Vacant city of lath and mud…
Through mud, through the dust
Of a world
three little gypsies are singing
the magi’s carols.

Go on harlequins
harlequin carols
as doors lay wide-open
at the soul of nothingness …

Translated by Constantin ROMAN, July 2003
From the Anthology “Aurolac” (1996)


Read more about Florenta Albu in:

Blouse Roumaine – The Unsung Voices of Romanian Women

(1,100 pages, 160 Biographies, 600 quotations)


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