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Poetry in Translation, (CCLXXX) – ROMANIA, Radu GYR (1905-1975): “We say no more”, “Tãcem din gurã “

April 1st, 2014 · 2 Comments · History, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, POLITICAL DETENTION / DISSENT, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation, (CCLXXX) – ROMANIA, Radu GYR (1905-1975): “We say no more”, “Tãcem din gurã”

Radu GYR Poet of the Romanian Communist Prisons

Radu GYR Poet of the Romanian Communist Prisons

Radu GYR (1905-1975)

All that is left of our home
the prison cell and the thick wall,
surrounded by these blocks of stone,
we clench the teeth to say it all.
And as no words are said for wakes
we’re silent as the bottom of the lakes,
Imprisoned in our iron cages,
we said no word for thousand ages.
Them – iron fists and dour arms;
us – just the silence of the lambs.
Them – with their hatred and their fist;
us – in the shadows of the mist.
Beyond the void of timeless flow
we’re silent like the fire glow.
and silent, like the sword of yore,
we say no more, we say no more.
The frost had found its deepest home,
like hunger biting to the bone,
as night and day the wound is sore,
we clench the teeth to say no more.
I’m silent like the doorway lock
And like the inmates in the dock.
At night, in all the prison cells,
I hear the friends’ tormented wails.
But from afar I hear a thunder
as if the walls do fall asunder
and heavy chains break on the floor…
we clench the teeth and say no more.
(Aiud political prison)

Rendered in English, from the Romanian original by Constantin ROMAN
© 2014 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London


Radu Gyr (1905-1975)

(din volumul: ‘Poezii din închisoare’)

Din tot, ne-a mai rãmas aieve,
acest zid grav, aceste dreve.
Crunt ferecati în piatrã durã
cu pumnii strânsi, tãcem din gurã.
Tãcem, parc’am tãcea de veacuri
ca niste funduri vechi de lacuri.
Si ferecat în bezna surã,
de mii de ani, tãcem din gurã.
Ei: ziduri, lanturi, temnicerii,
noi, numai cremenea tãcerii.
Ei, biciuri cu bãtãi si urã,
noi, urias înghet pe gurã.
Deasupra vremii si genunii,
tãcem ca spinii si tãciunii.
Tãcem ca lama de custurã,
tãcem mereu, tãcem din gurã.
Ne linge frigul pe ciolane,
ei, foame, cuie si ciocane
si orice zi e-o muscãturã.
Scrâsnind din dinti, tãcem din gurã.
Tãcem ca lacãtul pe use,
tãcem ca focul sub cenuse,
tãcem… dar noaptea sub celule,
vuiesc torente nesãtule.
Un zgomot bubuie departe,
se darmã parcã ziduri sparte
si parcã lanturi cad în zgurã.
Noi asteptãm, tãcem din gurã.

(Inchisoare Aiud)

victims communism SHORT BIO: Radu DEMETRESCU-GYR was born as Radu Demetrescu;, on March 2, 1905, Câmpulung-Muscel and died on 29 April 1975, in Bucharest.
He had his literary debut at the age of 19, with ‘Linisti de schituri’. After his graduation of the University of Bucharest (Faculty of Literature and Philosophy) he became a lecturer and won various literary awards from the Romanian Writers Society and respectively from the Romanian Academy. As an active member of the Legionary Movement he was appointed general Director of the Theatres, a time during which he founded the Jewish Theatre in Bucharest (Teatrul Evreiesc). Under the dictatorship of King Carol II he is imprisoned, to be freed for ‘rehabilitation’, as part of the Sarata battalions. Less then five years later, in 1945, Radu Gyr falls foul of the Russian-installed Communist government which condemns him to 12 years detention in some of the harshest Romanian jails, such as the infamous Aiud prison (see above poem). Freed in 1956, at the time of the Hungarian uprising against the Communist regime, Radu GYR is rearrested in 1958, after writing his poem “Arise, brother Andrew, arise, brother John!”.
See: http://www.romanianstudies.org/content/2011/09/poetry-in-translation-xci-radu-gyr-ridica-te-gheorghe-ridica-te-ioane-arise-brother-andrew-arise-brother-john/
Radu GYR is summarily judged and sentenced, having spent, in all, twenty years in Romania’s most infamous and harshest political prisons. During his detention he is refused the most elementary medical assistance, becomes terminally ill and dies soon after being freed from prison.

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