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Poetry in Translation (XXIV): Ion Caraion – “Seul au Monde” / “Singur pe lume”

November 12th, 2005 · No Comments · Diaspora, PEOPLE, Poetry, Translations

Alone in the World / Seul au Monde / Singur pe lume (Ion Caraion)
(translated from the Romanian by Constantin ROMAN

Seul au monde
de Ion Caraion. Traduction de Constantin Roman

– Où vous emmènnent-ils, Monsieur?
– Dans le jardin, mon rêve.
– Pour quoi faire, Monsieur?
– Pour me fusiller, mon rêve.
– Parce qu’ils ont des balles, Monsieur?
– Parce qu’ils ont le temps, mon rêve.
– Où vous enterreront-ils, Monsieur?
– Sous la neige, mon rêve.
– Avez-vous peur, Monsieur?
– Je trouve ça révoltant, mon rêve.
– Qui doit-on prévenir, Monsieur?
– Les feux de l’enfer, mon rêve.
– Ça va aller quand même, Monsieur?
– Il fera nuit, mon rêve.
– Qui est votre plus proche parent, Monsieur?
– Je suis seul au monde, mon rêve.
– Voulez-vous boire un verre, Monsieur?
– Qu’est-ce que ça va me coûter, mon rêve?
– Peu importe le prix, Monsieur.
– Le calice est-il empoisonné, mon rêve?
– Vous n’en voulez pas, Monsieur?
– Casse-le en mille morceaux, mon rêve!
– Doit-on vous pleurer, Monsieur?
– Inutile, mon rêve.
– Bonne nuit, Monsieur.
– Dormons ensemble, mon rêve!
– Je dors seul, Monsieur.

* * * * * * * * * *

Alone in the World

by Ion Caraion. Translated by Constantin Roman.

Where are they taking you, sir?
To the garden, my dream.
Why do they take you there, sir?
To shoot me, my dream.
Because they have bullets, sir?
Because they have time to, my dream.
Where shall they bury you, sir?
Under the snow, my dream.
Are you afraid, sir?
I find it revolting, my dream.
Whom shall we tell all this, sir?
Tell the fires of hell, my dream.
Will you be alright, sir?
Night will have come, my dream.
Who is your next of kin, sir?
I am alone in the world, my dream.
Would you care for a drink, sir?
What will it cost me, my dream?
The cost does not matter, sir.
Is the chalice poisoned, my dream?
You seem not want it, sir?
Smash it to pieces, my dream!
Should we mourn you, sir?
That would change nothing, my dream.
Good night to you, sir.
Let us sleep together, my dream.
Sir, I sleep alone.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Am Pe Nimeni (Ion Caraion)

– Und’ va duce, domnule ?
– În gradina, somnule.
– Ce sa faceti, domnule ?
– Sa ma-mpuste, somnule.
– Ca au gloante, domnule ?
– Ca au vreme, somnule.
– Und va-ngroapa, domnule ?
– Sub zapada, somnule.
– Va e frica, domnule ?
– Îmi e scîrba somnule.
– Cui sa spunem, domnule ?
– Iadurilor, somnule.
– Va fi bine, domnule ?
– Va fi seara, somnule.
– Aveti rude, domnule ?
– Am pe nimeni, somnule.
– Vreti o cupa, domnule ?
– Cît ma costa, somnule ?
– N-are-a face, domnule.
– De otravuri, somnule…
– Nu vreti cupa, domnule ?
– Sparge-o-n tandari, somnule !
– Sa va plîngem, domnule ?
– N-are-a face, somnule.
– Noapte buna, domnule !
– Dormi cu mine, somnule !
– Eu dorm singur, domnule.


Read more about  Political prisoners and about Marta Caraion-Blanc in:

Blouse Roumaine – The Unsung Voices of Romanian Women

(Centre for Romanian Studies, London, 2009)

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


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