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C Anthology of Romanian poetry translations by Miqhael-M. Khesapeake

This anthology does not present a certain order of apparitions of the poets’ names – it’s neither chronological nor alphabetical; nearly always, in similar anthologies, some names appeared ahead of some others, because of these categorizations. But ordinarily I agree with these categorizations and also I’ll make for sure some other anthologies traditionally...

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Contents: Ion Minulescu: Three teardrops, cold, of a traveler (Trei lacrimi reci de cãlãtoare) …………………………………………………

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Why did you leave, miss? (De ce-ai plecat?) …………………………………………………………….

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Mihai Beniuc: The last letter (Ultima scrisoare) ……………………………………………………………

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Nichita Stănescu: Autumnal emotion (Emoţie de toamnã) ………………………………………………………….

10

Youth lioness, you, loving (Leoiacã tânarã, iubirea) …………………………………………………….

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Rainfall in the month of Mars (Ploaie în luna lui Marte) …………………………………………………….

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The right of having time (Dreptul la timp) …………………………………………………………..

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What good that there you are (Ce bine cã eşti) ……………………………………………………………

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Oh, you, tree (Ah, copacule) ……………………………………………………………..

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Eminescu (Eminescu) ………………………………………………………………..

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To Eminescu (Cãtre Eminescu) …………………………………………………………..

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An upside-down tree (Arbor invers) ……………………………………………………………...

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Let’s love ourselves as flowers do (Sã ne iubim ca florile) ………………………………………………………

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Gelu Naum: The Mö bius’ torsion (Torsiunea lui Möbius) ……………………………………………………..

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Athanor (Out of a too-ancient gesture burnt four thousands years ago) (Athanor [Dintr-un strãvechi gest ars de patru mii de ani]) ……………….……….

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Doubling time into its simple elements (Dublarea timpului în elementele simple) ………………………………………

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Heraclitus (Heraclit) …………………………………………………………………

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Apollodor, a traveler penguin (a children’s tale) (Apolodor, un pinguin cãlãtor) (excerpt) ………………………………………..

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The old man was sitting there dead (Bãtrânul şedea mort) ……………………………………………………….

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George Bacovia: Oven-heat (Cuptor) ………………………………………………………………….

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Lead (Plumb) …………………………………………………………………..

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Blood, lead, autumn (Sânge, plumb, toamnã) ……………………………………………………..

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Melancholy (Melancolie) ……………………………………………………………….

27

Pastel (Pastel) …………………………………………………………………..

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Cold (Frig) …………………………………………………………………….

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Violet twilight (Amurg violet) ……………………………………………………………..

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Ion Barbu: The Peacock (Pãunul) …………………………………………………………………..

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Humanization (Umanizare) ………………………………………………………………..

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Ana Blandiana: This floating (Aceastã plutire) …………………………………………………………….

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Covered with dew (Acoperitã de rouã) …………………………………………………………..

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I was just starting to feel (Abia începusem sã simt) ……………………………………………………...

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Vasile Alecsandri: The Transylvania’s round-dance (Hora Ardealului) …………………………………………………………..

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Farewell, Moldavia, to you! (Adio, Moldovã!) …………………………………………………………….

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Teary-lilies of the valley (Lãcrãmioare) ……………………………………………………………..

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Mihai Eminescu: Loneliness (Singurãtate) ………………………………………………………………

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Little sleepy birdies (Somnoroase pãsãrele) ……………………………………………………….

36

Flower blue (Floare albastrã) ……………………………………………………………

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36


Ode (in ancient meter) (Odã [în metru antic]) ………………………………………………………

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Seeing you again (Revedere) …………………………………………………………………

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Dimitrie Bolintineanu: Stephen the Great’s mom (Muma lui Ştefan cel Mare) ………………………………………………….

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Fables:

Mircea Demetriade: The aquila and the snail (Acvila şi melcul) …………………………………………………………..

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G. Ranetti: Zero and One (Zero şi Unu) ……………………………………………………………..

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C. Bălăcescu: The ass and the fox (Mãgarul şi vulpea) ………………………………………………………..

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The peasant and the fisherman (Ţãranul şi pescarul) ……………………………………………………….

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Ion Minulescu: Three teardrops, cold, of a traveler (Trei lacrimi reci de cãlãtoare)

And you’ll forget me for far too far and for a far too long while you’re leaving! And I’ll forget you ’ cos oblivion is written in our human species’ laws. .................... With your eyes you chase-shall that shore, melting like a cloud into the skyline, and your eyes shed-shall perhaps three teardrops, cold, of a traveler; and shall-I, on the shore, so sorry watching-be that ship in her swift sailing, and understanding that you’re lost for me, I’ll cry for you in the rhythm of a verse. And my verse shall be carried by a singer up to you, and in your turn, you singing it by yourself just like him, mourning for it, maybe, just like me you’ll think of who’s the adored one for the sake of whom it written was, and forgetting that you’ve forgotten me, you’ll pull out of that pale dream’s frame that gloomy face of mine, as in that day when that vessel got you fainted away into the skyline and when out of your eyes you let fall three teardrops, cold, of a traveler!

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Why did you leave, miss? (De ce-ai plecat?)

Why did you leave, miss?.. Didn’t you know well that in the month of May then, among the mountains with fir woods, either one man or woman - whoever is, is guided by those paths to the Hell, and not, like in the fairyworld, to Heavens?.. Why did you leave, miss, with the wind in your tousled hair, when no voice called you, miss?.. Didn’t you know well that in the month of May then the paths are yet full of mire?.. Why did you leave, miss?.. Didn’t you know well that in the month of May then the month of the first sin it is that sin which out of dalliance catches and strangles you at once and thereafter casts you out in the rain, straight into the garbage bin?.. Stop yourself!.. Just look around you... And if you didn’t soil yourself on your shoes with mire, make yourself the worshiping cross sign and come back right this while!.. Make yourself the worshiping cross sign, since you commited sin only in your dream... And gone is now your dream!..

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Mihai Beniuc: The last letter (Ultima scrisoare)

Our end has come without to bugle first. Are you happy? I see you’re wearin’ a ring, dame. I see. I’ll cross a line as a must over that useless hope of mine. Do the same. Don’t tell me it’s just a form, I know its meaning too much well. I know, ye have in life another norm, but in front of the norm I won’t kneel. I won’t sing you in verses ever again, in your path I won’t welcome you, I won’t reproach you, you’re not to blame, and I won’t say that you my mind not knew. It was of course only a mistake, it could have been a lot, but nothing was. In all my everlasting boredom I still can’t imagine you for our sake. And however, however, some finger brushings of yours were enough to make me dizzy, I was seeing the air in flutterings of angels, a light in my eve of doubts, really. When fingers of a Midas I was putting, magically, on your frail being of clay, was sounding within me that babbling, pelagically, of those holy creations of the beginning day. I’ve been seeing how gets lifted above the ages that statue of yours, of heavy gold, massive, how some serious ages take off their shoes and in line kneel down, they, the submissive. On your godish socle they’re waiting too, you ought to stretch for them that wide smile so quiet, as unto being kissed, the righteous adored one, you, before they faint themselves into the infinite. O, if we were staying together only for one hour, you were now remained in the golden dream, like an eternal, pink aurora, such a meaningless, such an unspeakable gleam. Implacably has been finished our story and I don’t even know if you’ll read ever barely by chance this poetry in which I’d wish you can be what you’re no more. I won’t trample your dream beneath my soles, I won’t blemish with words what’s dear to me.

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I could say: «You’re like everybody else!..» but I won’t get myself in muds so dirty. If the mire around you would be wide like whole chaos, you’ll still remain that water lily of snow reflected by that lake so drunk with its lust, kept candidly by my recollection for evernow*. [for ever from now on] You’ll be forever not-defiled in my soul, I’ll forever love you with no word, and people won’t ever know the very reason why I can no more sing any woman in the world. In there, under the light of a mystery, bathed in the water of dreams, so even, you’ll stay loved, like in a nook of a heaven-sky, a star of eventide, gentle and serene. And when life shall be cruel with you, when they’ll splash you with their mire matter, just run throughout that world of your dream to me, we’ll be then alone, together. With tears I shall wash out any spot of yours, with unwritten verses I’ll caress you, and in their swinging sweet cadence you’ll feel like in your first dream, you. And if it shall be (as I feel all day long since a while) for me to be left from ye round here, soon, when your voice shall call me once, I’ll come to you out of my tomb’s doom. And if it shall be to be unpassable those boundaries forever sealed I’d quite terribly struggle in the cold winter, weeping there’n that large night, larger and larger widened.

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Nichita Stănescu: Autumnal emotion (Emoţie de toamnã)

Has come the autumn, just cover, you, my heart with anything now, with the shadow of one tree, or rather, with your shadow. {/Has come the autumn, coverin’ with anything my heart all, With the shade of a tree or rather, with your shadow.} I’m afraid that I’ll not see you, sometimes, that I’ll have, sprung, some keeny wings tall to the clouds, that you’ll hide yourself behind a stranger eye’s glance, and which shall close itself with an wormwood’s leafage. And then I’ll get closer by stones really silent, I take the words all, casting them into the sea’s wave. Wizzing the Moon*, rising her, an’ I’ll her change [Moon-she] Into one love too large.

Youth lioness, you, the loving (Leoiacã tânarã, iubirea)

Youth lioness, you, the loving, you’ve just jumped into my face. She spied on me in tension since a long while. Those white fangs you’ve thrust into my face, the lioness has bitten me, today, on my face. And at once all around me, that nature turned itself into a circle, somersoultly, it, either wider, or closer, as a gathering of waters. And my glance upwards up jumped, like a rainbow half cut, and met was there by my hearance*, [hearing] right over there, by skylarks. I put my hand on my eyebrow, on my brow and chin then, but my hand’s got no other idea of them. Sliding, too much unkowingly on a desert so brighty, on which walkin’ is so easily, a copperlike lioness

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with her movings so slyly, for one more whily, an’ for one more whily*... [while]

Rainfall in the month of Mars (Ploaie în luna lui Marte)

It rained infernally, and we’ere in love in some attics. Through the sky of the window, oval, the clouds poured in the month of Mars. The walls of the roomay* were (odaia [the room]) so uneasy, under some designs in chalklet. Our souls were in dance, unseen, in a world so concrete. It’s gonna rain you on your wings, you said, raining with globes on the globe and through the while. It’s nothing, I was sayin’ to you, Lorelaide, on me rained, with feathers, the flyin’. An’ I was myself liftin’ up. And I had no idea where I left in the world that roomay. You cried out to me from behind: answer me, answer me, who are more beautiful, ever: people?.. the rain?.. It rained infernally, a rainfall completely so crazily, and we’ere in love in some attics. I wished got ended neverly never that month of Mars.

The right of having time (Dreptul la timp)

You’ve got a kind of a paradise of your own, Where is no need of saying words. Sometimes there’s moving one of these arms and fall down before you some leaves. With the oval of one’s face they ought to stand inclined toward a light coming from aside with too much yellow in it and much laziness, with jumping boards for jumpers into their death as to die. You’ve got a kind of an allure of your own, serene, of raising up the cities like some clouds, and all the time of moving the seconds

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in the Southern edge of the hour, when the air becomes violet and cold and the chart of the everlasting eventide, and hardly I can keep myself alive either yet being breathing, with my long eyes, at images.

What good that there you are (Ce bine cã eşti)

A happening of my being it is and then this happiness from me within more powerful than me is, than my bones these crushed by you in me by one hug of yours, one always painful, wonderful for all whiles of evern*. [forever] Let’s stay to talk, to tell stories, telling some words long, glassy, as some chisels cleavig just like that cold river the delta hot, the day from the night, the basalt from the basalt. Get me, you, happiness, upskywards*, and smash my [upwards] temple against the stars, till my prolonged world and lost into the boundless turns itself into a column or something else much too high and much too soon. What good that there you are, what a wonder that I am! Two different songs, crushing together mixing each other, two colours that never saw each another, one come from too below, turned itself toward ground, one from too upwards, one almost broken in that thrilling, outstanding struggle of the wonder that there you are, of the happening that I am.

Oh, you, tree (Ah, copacule)

Oh, you, tree, your leafage falls down on my shoulder, the sun is rotating its eye, falling down onto the skyline, your shadow is long and thin on this desolate field, of stone. I was remained like this, keeping in my hand the sadle and harnesses, those smelling horsy. I’d be quite sorry to die... Perhaps also because I’m not thirsty,

12


’ cos

I’d like to leave, remaining for the sake of a horse, who’s getting putrefied, and of a tree, with its leafage falling... Up to where - I don’t know even myself and neither what happenings shall be within my soul. Oh, you, tree, the stars are jumping up out of an edge of soil and sweet is that warm and there’s eke a time and a quietness like a greenish flame, flaring by burning!

Eminescu (Eminescu)

Only this you oughtn’t to forget: that he was a live man, live, touchable by your hand. Only this you oughtn’t to forget: that he used to drink with his own mouth, having a skin clothed in wool material. Only this you oughtn’t to forget: that he could have been staying at the table with us, staying at that secret dinner. Only this you ought to forget: that He lived before us... Only this, kneeling myself before you, forget!

To Eminescu (Cãtre Eminescu)

You are not dead, because I am your body speaking with your words. When so lovely it’s for me in this world, as with your love being thinking about your love, you, Mihai, if you knew how much missed you’re by me, as well as by the eyes, by the pebbles and rainbows... I told them about you, that you’ll be late, I was telling them that you shouldn’t be passing through the blood, there’s no must to get reborn,

13


and neither so astray out of rays you shouldn’t be attending. Mihai, you, who’re younger than me, being myself thinking unto your thoughts, don’t let me get old, Mihai, not wisdom is what I’d need, but song, can you hear me? song, can you hear me? song, can you hear me? Has caught me that afterwardnape* of those stones, of those grass blades, (apoia) has caught me that afterwardnape of those autumn fruits, Mihai. Someone should taste this afterwardnape so ripe and juicy and so fleshy. The kernelous brain of this afterwardnape is not a nit-bebrained brain. As a proof, the time, passing by, that too-fast second which is to us given, as a proof, your place within the kernel of this tongue of ours, as a proof, your heart which has made its bed my brain, as a proof, my own loneliness, the one which I didn’t think ever I’d learn how to die.

An upside-down tree (Arbor invers)

An upside-down tree, with its roots spread’n the wind, with its wide soles like those of plane tree, some almost floating, scarcely touchin’ the seasons of the year. With its palms so dentate like the oak’s leaf, with its trunk with a deepened-hollow where the bears upside-down sleep, uselessly toward a sky-ground willing to get on. All the while with its empty brain, with its ideas so spread like on a hill those rounded trees, itself borne into the clouds, in those sparks of the not-illuminated ones. Like one in the water seen every while and now, and rustling in an earthy wind, with its roots thrusted into the rainbow and into colours beyond any sight. An upside-down tree I’m yet remained, broken from the sphere, with this sphere exactly similar, a twin one it is... and everything looks to me known, but nothing of what I know to what-it-is isn’t like.

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Let’s love ourselves as flowers do (Sã ne iubim ca florile)

Let’s love ourselves like flowers do within ourselves, Let’s grow on the word’s live bough; am I «A» the petal of the calling, you, «U» the chilly flower. Let’s love ourselves like flowers do within ourselves like some lonely letters inside the word itself. O, you, the word that sex and matrix out of which is givin’ birth all the future. Let’s love ourselves like flowers do within ourselves within yourselves, within themselves, like flowers, only as these flowers do, the white flowers, apple tree flowers.

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Gelu Naum: The Mö bius’ torsion (Torsiunea lui Möbius)

My left hand and my right eye, my left glove and my right boot, my right lamp and my left horse, my left apple and my right voice, my right coat and my left ear, my left hat and my right ear, my right key and my left carpet, etc. etc.

Athanor (Out of a too-ancient gesture burnt since four thousands years ago) (Athanor [Dintr-un strãvechi gest ars de patru mii de ani])

A rustling of the ashes, a quenched memory of the fire over those tattoos of limestone, chemises of limpid water among sands, vegetal worms making detours among those little pebbles, a roaring of those pails fallen in fountains; but all these were occurred there under a plantain and one good day he came out to see; above, we were sitting just by those vine-props and our curling plaits were holding toward them; that tomb of lime was like a little shattered, through the fog were wending around those menacing birds of the sleepiness; we were trying to get dodged as much as we could and he proped us with his eyes.

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Doubling time into its simple elements (Dublarea timpului în elementele simple)

Being remained somehow alone, I moved myself into a frog, On Sundays I use to squirt water with the hose and slip, further, away; the water lilies cover all the streets, spreading themselves on the sidewalks, the Sky got broken its little cogwheel, let’s put there another one, let’s start on the old road, by that stone grinding without knowing what... (eat!, the murderers were saying, that’s no fish, there’s nothing to get spoiling, and the door was like itself opening, they were lowly chattering, pricking up their ears and those footsteps were going, going off);

Heraclitus (Heraclit)

On old roots, I was sleeping such a nodular sleep. On the boughs, my brethren were lying to bask their long plaits. The wind was ceased. Then, at once, commenced such a huge abandonment. 1. A wooden bird came from the tree on the roof iron-sheets of the houses, the tree was waiting for a bird of iron-sheet, for me all of them were perfectly just conjugated, but I was even that bird of wood and iron sitting on a chair, looking out of the window; (Embrace me, my wet sun. That staff of my eyes got lost itself. The one who’s sleeping lends to the trees that lime of our innocence. In the stove the words are easily crackling.) 2. I was dreaming some acoustic landscapes, sounding hills, pyramids with the music, pianos freshly embowered, I was dreaming that diurnal rhythm of the earth, energic batteries as guitars, and all of them, and you push a button, one with a truly certain effect, and you’ll get the eye dancing, you touch that well-known string and you’ll get the leg laughing, filling itself with joy; (Crossing yourself throughout saps, o you my relentless sister. With motionless flowers. Till my mountains began to move. Outside, the sun was protecting my treasures of dung.) 3. I was sitting right behind my rear and dreaming to fill myself with joy just as my leg, searching for some hexagonal words, there at silence’s borderline of wire, searcing for long colours, I was so hungy for long colours, dreaming some gloves and boats made of violet sounds and the houses were sounding and the clouds, rustling, and I was in my mind oxigenating countless flocks of sheep, making them up with eyeshadow, unto the great transhumance of spingtime, then, after this exhausting labour, I was drawing myself ahead of me, wiping my sweat from my brow;

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4. In the night the roosters had crests of screaming, the world’s breathing got dimmed my pane and I was wiping it with a clean towel, go, any of you, to check out that dog, then, a very beautiful woman gave me some milk, maybe she got far many lamps, I can’t remember now, I was just speaking lowly, as not to tear up her chemise, she was giving me milk and bread and then leaving away barefoot on the road, to the east, to the west, to the deafth, to the norpse*. (spre mort) [to the deaf, to the corpse] 5. Then, the phrenetic river, and my friends swimming asleep; (We in love were making love as all the trees, at the shade of some bushy eyebrows. Like all the passer-bys, through the smoke. Our lamps were full of fruits. I was myself picking me up out of you. You were getting rest on that bench of my silences.) 6. In the eve, going back in my cube I wished myself got filled with joy and the things were themselves smoking in foggy contours, my neighbor’s stag was clopping in the kitchen, but those two old people, keeping an egg at their ears, listening that untouched silence of the yolk and rhythmically blinking to the clock’s tick-tack. 7. (In the distance I could see how your screaming was getting burnt. From place to place, where that sand contoured the cheek of a killed humidity, you were still visible on. A watchman of these passings, the night was fastening together the ends of the road.) Then, the boundless eclosion, and among so many things extremely grave, on my ears of stone were landing butterflies.

Apollodor, a traveler penguin (a children’s tale) (Apolodor, un pinguin cãlãtor) (excerpt)

At the circus, in the Codgers’ Borough, on that ice floe of a fridgy, lived merrily and smilingly a penguin from Labrador’s city. -What was his name? -Apollodor. -And what was he doing? -Singing in the choir. So, he was neither a juggler, nor an acrobat or dancer; he was doing only what’s easier: singing in the choir. (He was a tenor.) A fattish one, cleany an’ of pretty lure, in his tail coat shining all, like this was he, Apollodor...

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But one day, Apollodor, unto everyone’s disillusionment for sure, said just like this: «-I’ve got a sadness dour! I like being a chorister, but, what could I do more? I’ve got a longing pure for my brothers all from Labrador... Oh, if I could stay at least one hour with them, on an icebergish floe!..» Then he wept, he, Apollodor... When the kitty Titz saw him like this weeping in sobbings and hiccoughs said to him thus: «-My friend, I’d give my moustache* and this my tail little, [whiskers] I’d give a pitcher of milk skin-cream, I’d give anything to respark your merry gleam. c’mon, don’t cry like that, I beg you, an’ I mean...» And they tried to calm him down at least, the hedgehog offering him some needles, and the bear, with a handful of blackberries freshly picked up from the forest, and the rabbit Broad-Lips with sweet fruits and lettuces (Apollodor’s colleagues, in the choir being all singer-masters). The camel Suzy, the saddest, sighing in her hanky with her face, for he was to her like her own kid: she had taught him the first gamut. but he was weeping: I’ve got a longing pure for my brothers all from Labrador... The collegues of Apollodor went then to their conductor. The master Domilasolfat, in his own of-velvet coat, hearin’ this, he sank just like a thinker, sittin’ there on a sofa sighing: «My poor tenor, he can be lost of so much lure! Let’s let him go to Labrador...» And thus went gone Apollodor...

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At first it was easier: he was carried to North up there in the air by a twin-engined plane. And, sitting crossed-legged there, he was just singing, singing he, Apollodor, singing with his voice of tenor... Then, with that chute on back of his Apollodor gamboled like an eel either frolicking there on those wheels, or riding like a horse the engine. Like this, with his acrobatic flight, they say Apollodor reached there, but they were crushed by a crazy cloud, and so Apollodor fell down... In Cape North, Cape North, sheltered there’n a fjord sitting was Apollodor, on the shore, gloomily and thoughtfully all. Sitting he on the shore, silent in a sad woe this tenor, this chorister, with his parachute torn, with no compass, no map at all. Out of sea was roaring, like bubblingly, all that flood of waters, all... And mourning was Apollodor... And look, just look, a ship there on... the fishership called METEOR, a fishership greater than all from Baltic to Labrador-, All the while goosing its buzzer: «-Hello!?! Who are you?» «-A traveler!» «-And, what’s your name?» «-Apollodor.» «-And, which way?» «-To Labrador.» «-Why are you mourning?» «-Well, but I’ll be for sure dead and forgotten by all, with no help at all...» And then they cried out to him in choir, the seamen from METEOR: -We’ll take you, Apollodor, on our ship METEOR, it’s one big and roomy, ship on!.. -You’ll get a route a little devious, for we’re sailing to the east, but you’ll still arrive at Labrador. C ’mon, climb up on our fishership’s board... Cheerfully, Apollodor

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said, climbing on board alone, good bye to Cape North. Easily floating was the ship METEOR, slowly and slowly, alone, all the seamen were singing in choir and, above all, Apollodor wastingly got gone his marvelous voice of tenor unto the seals’ rapture... It was a magnificent course floating on; but, after all, right there stopped they in the seaport the ship METEOR and unshiped there he, Apollodor, in Behring, one fine day... Then, crossing over the sea narrow by the boat of an Eskimo, he started to Labrador, on foot now, in such a great impatience, gone... Where he passed no one knows too well, but, as I figured out from all, it seems he was sailing, gone, to Alaska, the desolate and cold... but he found out that there in Labrador only by chance alone he was born, for there’s no foot of penguin at that pole. Apollodor’s family stayed there not for long. (They came there only in a journey. Then, they left on their way home, on that ice of the gulf Terry at the South Pole, so far far away...) A cruel gale, a hurricane carried him aloft, above the ocean, and what a terrible typhoon by its unspeakable puissance carried him onto the seashore, the African one, and then, to the gulf of Syrtheleen. And to himself he thought: «Yeah, beautiful. But this warmth is too tropical and I’m faint of fatigue all and I really can’t walk...» And as he was like this complaining, the pitiful, came to him a pretty camel asking him like: -What’s your name? -Apollodor. -What did you say?

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Apollodor’s away, in Labrador. I have in Bucharest a sister of same, she’s sent me, from there, some news about that famous tenor and I received it about an hour ago, yeah. His leaving was a drama... -Camel Suzy is your sister? I was to her like her own kid: she taught me the first gamut... She sang there’n the choir, and sometimes, she, the sweet, gave me even ice-cream, an’ not just a bit... Then, sighing, Apollodor spoke: -I think I’ll be just stiff and gone, after such a road like this, so long, right here, in this land of Syrtheleen, and I’ll never find my dream to find my brothers, at the South Pole... -O Lord, what can I now hear!? in tears she, then, the camel... -Of mercy my heart hurts me like hell! Your lady shall carry you southward, I swear... And she carried him on her back like jumping in dandlings as it’s the job of all camels; and they traveled across fields and villages, and went like this for many days, and arrived, after a long while, in the edge of a sandland too desolate. -But I, my lady, am so convinced to go to the south farther away, to my brothers. I have no choice! I miss them all so much and it’s a must to find them, yes! Anyway, thank you very much... And he just started in his courage to the south, over that sand, in a walking-hitch... And whilst Apollodor was going and thinking too, was encompassed by all his fears: «Right here is gonna be over my own living!» He met on his path an oasis with so much shade and coolness, with old trees overblossomed of their flowers, with large branches of leaves, of jasmin, with so good water, out of a spring.

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And drank he, Apollodor, and sang as well, of happy feel... He wandered just like that for a whole year on African land, yeah, lost in South Africa. When lo, they saw him for a while now as a stevedore in the port of Cape-Green, loading currants and chick pea. Then, his traces are lost in the wind. They say he stayed there only a little and his feet were hunted then in Mozambique and anew we know neither a bit... Then, a rumor a little clearer says about «Apollodor, the famous penguin-tenor of the island Madagascar». And afterward, for six months in order, he’s been in India a fakir freelancer, and we also know about, without blemish, that he opened by his clear voice, after a solo of guitar, the concert there in Bangladesh, where there caused quite a delirium, that he wore, solemnly but so sad, a curious costume, and having even that necessary hair as any young guitar player. Then, for one month in Tibet they say he was there as a poet. And anew we know neither a bit... Merely after about two months, spoke they in a newspaper that he was there on an isle, in the Pacific. Now, he was a millionaire. (There happen even miracles...) He found, on a desolate glade, of fine leather, a suitcase, and in the suitcase, as well a package sealed by wax and, in the package, a little bundle tied by elegant bows and in the little bundle he found diamonds, forty, about. [......]

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The old man was sitting there dead (Bãtrânul şedea mort)

The old man was sitting there on the dunghill in its very contemplative tomb, nothing he was saying - but only whimpering like a baby within a kernel, hidden; coming was there the same boat, only the passengers were different, they were like sniffing for him round, commemorating him; the old man sat dead with an old hat on his head; a couple of disciples only, the most pure who were the foulest deeply, they were delving that dung, with their fingers searching for earthworms of fishing; we were adoring one another, as it’s spoken. We were there maybe by chance, the others were coming, coming all the while. They got books and writing books too, drawing themselves closer to the old man and asking him questions (they were the same questions, but only the passengers were different now and then), saying thus: We all do respect you. Lo, here’s occurring your commemoration quite solemn, we’re taking notes, we type shorthanding too, but why don’t we understand that whisper of yours issued to us, even?, just try to be clearer. We’ve got tickets return-to, as well as two tables bespoken. Deliver us some truths, we note them, learn them, in short we send them further to our successors. The old man was sitting there on the dunghill in his very contemplative tomb, the disciples were darning their rags, pretending not to be eyeing, there was such a performance there, rather a doleful one. We were keeping ourselves aside, pretending to study Polyglotish. We were coached by a lady, a severe botanist who knew a lot of lips. The others were drawing themselves closer to the old man, putting him medals on his diapers, taking pictures from him in his diapers, among them; he was a (cod)ger, they were (east)eeming him, de(light)fully attending, we were just caring about our businesses, now a little more tangled, we got out of them according to our skills, the disciples were playing the guitar by ear, the others were asking questions. A blue sky was there, a couple of Mediterraneans were each other fecundating in some nooks, the others, saying: We respect you, you’re the second Marconi, Edison. They were expressing some aphorisms, a couple of truths, two-three. The old man was tossing on his dunghill, tearing up his diapers, we were keeping aside. Crossing among us such a serenity without beginning or an end, feeling ourselves well, with our shoulders proped bared against the air, the others were building there an amphitheatre. They were surrounding the old man, flattening his hat, splashing on him water with the hose, asking him for a few truths; but he covered his eyes, plugging his mouth with dung; there were coming sea ships, over-crowded trains

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(they were the same, only the passengers were different), I was saying to you something, a reckless matter. The disciples were pretending that they don’t hear, you said to me: Endrigo, you’re speakying like in 33, when you got promoted your school-leaving examination I was speaking like in 33, giving my leaving-school examination, we were studying the philosopy in a chamber with street view; the others were saying: We’re commemoring you, crawling ourselves along these beaches, so wounded in wars, just express for us clearer that whispering of yours, for you’ve got it by the right of that receipt that you’re an old man. The disciples were reiterating in their mind that initial error, we were brushing each other our cheeks, caressingly touching our fingers in the amphytheatre. Musics were playing. Were coming eke sea ships and trains over there. Were occurred marches, the old man was tossing on his dunghill. Whispering: No. That’s all he was whispering.

George Bacovia: Oven-heat (Cuptor)

A couple of corses there’n the city are, my love, It’s exactly why I’ve come, to tell you this; On the catafalque, in the city’s heat, Slowly get putrefied the bodies. The living walk around putrefied themselves, With their clay by heat so sweated; It’s a smell of bodies, my love, And today, even your bosom is more flagged. Pour on the carpet strong parfumes, Bring, so I can lay on you, some roses; A couple of corses there’n the city are, my love, And slowly, get putrefied the bodies.

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Lead (Plumb)

Were deeply sleepin’ the coffins of lead, And flowers of lead there too and a funeral raiment Alone I was there’n my coffin... and blowing was the wind... And squeakin’ were the garlands of lead. Sleepin’ was there, restless, my lead loving, On some flowers of lead, and I began to shout I was alone, by that corse... and there 'twas cold... And its wings of lead were just hanging.

Blood, lead, autumn (Sânge, plumb, toamnã)

Slowly, in the sad rainriff A chest quite bent by coughin’ With blood in the handkerchief, Is turning the corner off, walkin’ Slowly, through the sad rainriff. All the mist’s weat lead Behind him comes followin’, Through those galleries of market And those dried leaves blowin’ All that mist’s wet lead. It’s blood, lead and autumn. With a black arm-of-truce A branch is still calling me on, One lugubrious and tenacious. It’s blood, lead and autumn.

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Melancholy (Melancolie)

What a din, what a moaning in the autumn... And the wild forest is rustling Is mourningly sounding in the dim glens a long-horn*, [(bucium) a very long flute-like instrument] And the sorrow-song even more moaningly gets starting. -Listen well, you, love, Don’t cry and don’t be afraid Just listen how heavily-slowly, out of its deeps, The earth is calling for us deeply in...

Pastel (Pastel)

Mourningly is soundin’ the autumn, Agonizingly - out of the deep side Passing by, the little birds are, And so stealthily they hide. Jingling is the rain... There’s no one on the road; If you stay out, Stifled you’ll be, from smoke. Far off, on the field, Crows are slowly fallin’ all over; And roars so prolonged Come out of the enclosure. The bells, sadly, Still keep their sounding crakedly... And it’s so late, And still I am not dead...

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Cold (Frig)

I am here, by a fence broken, And the wind with wet leaves is blowin’ I’m even uglier, I’m sunken, The cold makes glass get sweatin’. On the road leaned to the valley There’s an autumn like an old poem The wind’s pushing the women’s skirts in the way, We cannot be anylonger a pair with one of them. The autumn tears some posters and flowers, It’s more sadly there’n the far abysses You should kindle fires a day many times; O, it must be so sad there’n the far abysses... Wanderer snow-flakes...

Violet twilight (Amurg violet)

A violet twilight of autumn... Two poplars, in the backside, appearing as silhouettes -Two apostles in violet uniforms Violet is all the town. A violet twilight of autumn... On the road there’s a crowd lazy, coquettish, gloom; The crowd looks all a violet loom, Violet is all the town. A violet twilight of autumn... From the tower, on the field, I’m seein’ voivodes with plaits; Our ancestors are passing by in violet troops, Violet is all the town.

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Ion Barbu: The Peacock (Pãunul)

Was bowing, it, so Easternly and soft, To peck some maize of your palm out-held. Was flaring bluishly and warm, in your lap, Like in the cup those cobwebs of the alcohol. On the knotty log, your crazy one with hood, Inequal eyes it was so terribly rotating, And twisting your hand, just like a laundry to get dried, And the bird with its neck smashed is struggling.

Humanization (Umanizare)

With your castle of ice I’ve been acquainted, you, Thinking; Under its bleak arches for so long I’ve been wandering, Wishing new and new assertions, but there was no mirror-like reflecting, In those quenched crystals what you’re hiding there in, ' twas to me no speaking; I’ve left behind that your polarized grandeur And I’ve been going, going to that warm land of the East, And beneath a bunch of brushy old trees, in the eve’s glamour, My path, bewildered by the shade, stopped is. Under that bunch of old wild trees, in twilight, You appeared to me - under those faces so unfamiliar to me, ’ Cos you weren’ t there, in the chilly stronghold, You, music of the flying form, you Eurithme! Under the blossomed old trees, under my amazed eye, You’re sucked back into the sound, into the line, colors, You’re yourself poured out into the things, as in the eternal myth, aye, Was flowing down the itself divine into ephemeral clays. O, this whole soul of mine wished so quietly With the circle of your prolong wave along to dilate, To cut the thin air split and - widely and thousandfoldly To feel that it’s vibrating within those worlds innumerable... And in that eve’s glamour, being myself looking into the North, In the hour when the penumbra is at the horizon decreasing, And in the eve comes late a sleepy tone, I had a vision, that that ice dome gets melting.

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Ana Blandiana: This floating (Aceastã plutire)

What can happiness be, if not this very floating among leaves and fruits, in the ray of honey, dusted, rustling on the bewitched place where the life stops but without the death gettin’ started; and among them there’s only a limpid yearning with a smell of plums up to alcohol, of smoke and dried grass? What can happiness be, If not being sleepin’, waiting for your end, in September, in a lea?

Covered with dew (Acoperitã de rouã)

Covered with dew, you, country of the freshly-frail leaves, how many millennia still you’ll be untired to regive birth to yourself, you? Such a cradle of misfortune, such a beautiful one that no one has taken the time to throw up your green cemetery, you, country so rich in salt, decanted from those tears which bed rivers carry, getting filled with fish; and your weeping is a fruitful one, you, tireless mother, and so reckless are you, growing those lambs within the sheeps unto sacrifice, out of the dead being extracting that living grass and out of sufferance, the loving. Peace and quitness to you, you mad giver of gifts, under that sky of blood so forgotten and bluish of cold, good night.

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I was just starting to feel (Abia ĂŽncepusem sĂŁ simt)

I was just starting to feel that somewhere in that sparse air snow shall get melted at once, I was just starting to know that you cannot get yourself hidden any longer from my own eyes so eager to see, I was just figuring how gets snowed down a limpid line just on my brow, so trembling and soft, on your eyelids scarcely-united, I was just hardly daring to believe that are yours those shoulders drawn in the air with some boundless snow and those wings of yours betrayed by that unstoppable snowing. I could touch you, but I was afraid not to get shadded from your unseen being that unexpectedly clear contour lain, I could learn you by heart, unto the trice when, getting intensified the snowing, you’ll disappear in scare, again...

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Vasile Alecsandri: The Transylvania’s round-dance (Hora Ardealului) (version)

Let’s join just hand in hand, All of us with Romanian heart, Let’s round the broderhood’s round-dance* (hora) On Romania’s place! Has arrived the Freedom Day, Of Liberty that sacred day! All the Christians get so joyful, Romania gets youthful! You Transylvanian, child of mountain! C ’mon, that of yours brow rise now, Get inflated with your proudness, ’ Cos you’ re mine Romania’s son, yes! You Transylvanians, people would see us! Romania would trusts us, For from now on in the world any Romanian-same Shall be worthy of his name! Hurrah, brethren, c’mon into happiness! Hurrah, brethren, into a union of bless, Let’s round the round-dance On Romania’s place!

Farewell, Moldavia, to you! (Adio, Moldovã!)

Lovely country and beautiful, you, O you Moldavia, my country! Whoever leaves away and let you By a terrible mourning penetrated is, he. ’ Cos, aloft floating like in gentle dreams On your breast like on a heavenly ray, Sweet, that one from you, the life, is, And like a sweet day of May!

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I let you, my beloved country, Away from your sky I’m going, But with my heart so sadly-snowy, Bitterly I’m weeping, bitterly sighing! Sadly, now, at separation, I feel myself comprised by thrills And any other dear apparition For me now quenched is! Who knows, who knows If, pushed myself by that of the fate wind, I’ll be ever back in joys To kiss that of yours ground! If I’ll see yet ever once Those your resounding mountains, Which, with that high-lifted brow of grace Get fainted among clouds. And those your old trees of verdure, Where are flowing down, lowly whispering, Some springs enlivener, Melancholic-songs saying about longing, And that your sky smiling At the Romanian soul And every one loves me And every one I love! Lo, the setting-forth’s hour now is! Lo, the hour of so much bitter! Gladness, happiness, I’ll let them at your frontier, And that of mine heart is saying to you: O! You Moldavia which I’m mourning, Farewell! Just happy remain, you, Happy let me find you, at returning!

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Teary-lilies of the valley (Lãcrãmioare)

In the world many flowers shine, So odouring many flowers! But like you, little teary-lilies of the valley, In the world no other flower has, Such a sweet smell, sweet even name! You’re some angels’ tears, On the earth, fallen down from heaven, When among swinging stars Of theirs those clean souls Fly shaddin’ such mournful weepings. You’re freshy and so white Like that beloved of my life! Out of you, sweet grapes little, You, white lily of the valley, For herself the spring makes a neclace. But at once that wind cold Without the time gets you mowed! Thus the fate so cruelly kidnap All that smiles at us of the world... The flower’s disappeared, the life, passed!

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Mihai Eminescu: Loneliness (Singurãtate)

With down the curtains drawn, I’m at my firwood table sitting, Flickering is the fire in the stove now, And into my thoughts I’m sinking. Flocks and flocks through my mind pass Sweet illusions. Some recollections Lowly are chirping like crickets, Among some black, old brickings. Or they’re falling heavy, caressingly softly And crushing themselves in a sad soul, As in drops the wax falls quickly At Christ’s feet, down. In the chamber, near the nooks, There’re weaved a lot of cobwebs And on shelves among the books Stealthly wandering are mice. In this sweet peacefulness here I just rise my glance up to the attic, And listening how they’re there Gnawing my books’ covers whit by whit. Oh! How often wished-I-had To cling my lyra on a peg And to the poetry, an end, And to the vainness, I, to put; But then, crickets, mice, With their easy, tiny gait, Bring back my melancholy’s ice, And it becomes the poetry’s line. Sometimes... oh, too seldom... When lighting’s the lamp like an apropos as late, My heart jumps out quickly, gone, Hearing how’s ringing the doorbell’s plate...

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It’s She. The empty house, she, At once she seems so thronged to me In the black jambs of my life it is Just like a lighting holy-icony*. [a religious image for woshiping] And so in a grudge I am, how is that The time still endures to pass by for me, Whilst I’m living whisperingly with her Hand in hand, mouth to mouth, you see.

Little sleepy birdies (Somnoroase pãsãrele)

Little sleepy birdies, Come to nests to gather tight, Hiding in the little twigs Good night! Only the springs sighing are, Whilst the black forest silent is; Even the flowers’n the garden sleeping are Let your sleep be a bliss! Like passing by is the swan on waters Among reeds to lay there sleeping May your angels to you draw close, Your sleep, be sweeting! Over that of the night fairyness Is getting arisen the lofty Moon in sight, All is bliss and harmoniousness Good night!

Flower blue (Floare albastrã) «-Anew you there into the stars submerged are, And into the clouds an’ highly-deep skies? Oh, what a bliss if you won’t forget me, at least, You, the soul of my life who you’re.

Vainly some rivers in the sun Crammin’ up into your thinking you’re As well those plains of Assyria As well the darkened ocean;

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The aged-pyramids Climb up to the sky their big top of wall Don’t look into there, afar, For your love, your happiness!» Thus spake that girl, the little thing, Sweetly smoothening this hair on my head. O! She the truth’s just said; I laughed, nothing yet then saying. «-Come

along in that forest full of greenery Where’n the valley all springs mourn, The cliff sits like waiting to fall down Into that great abyssy. Over there, in the eye of the forest’s trees, Under that serene canopy And by that reed so slowly We’ll lay in leaf-foils of blackberries. And then you be saying tales to me And lies, with that mouth of yours so little, I’d, there on a blade of camomile Check out if you love me. And by the sun’s heat I’ll then be like an apple such a reddish girl, I’ll get apart my hair of gold, As with it to plug your mouth. If you’d give a kiss to me, No one in the world shall be supposed to know, For, it shall be beneath the hat hidden, you now And, after all, who ever interested may be!? When through boughs appeared shall have to be The Moon, in the summernight, Under my arms you would maybe keep me tight, Embracing your neck I’ll eke be. On the path in vaults of leaves, We, toward the village, in that valley, Would give to each other kisses on the way, Sweety ones, like some hidden flowers. And, arriving at the gate’s threshold, We shall be talking in the darkness; Let have nobody any care about us, Whom should care you’re my dear lad to?»

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One kissmouth* more - and vanished she is... [one kiss] Like a pillar I stood there in the moonlight! What a beautiful, what a crazy sight That blue flower of mine is! ............ And you’re gone, you, sweety wonder, Dead is now our love for true Flower blue! You, flower blue!... What so bleak the world is, however.

Ode (in ancient meter) (Odã [în metru antic])

I didn’t think ever I’d learn how to die; forever-young, shrouded in my coat, lifting my eyes, dreamfully, to that star of the loneliness. When at once you rose in my path, you, sufferance, you so painfully of sweet... up to the bottom I’ve drunk the death’s voluptuousness, the merciless. Cruelly I’m burning myself alive, in pains, like Nessus, or like Hercules venomed by his coat; my own fire quench I cannot, even with all those sea waters, not. Because of my own dream myself so burnt I’m lamentin’, at my own stake, melting myself in my flames... Can I revive, again, so luminous out of it, like a Pheonix bird? Let my deceitful eyes get perished out of my way, come again within my chest, you, my sad apathy; as I can die untroubled, restore me to myself quite to me, restore me!

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Seeing you again (Revedere) «-Forest

dear, you forest sweetie, How are you, you prettie sweetie, For since we met each other it’s Been a while, so long it is, And since I were away departed Quite a lot of world I’ve wandered.» «-Lo, I’m doing

as in all the ever, In winters, listening the blaster, Getting smashed my branches, Getting covered my waters, Getting snowed my paths, And getting banished off all songs; And I’m doing still as in all the ever, In summers, listening my songs of sorrow, On that path to the spring cold, Which I’ve given to them all, Filling their pitchers in, Singing it to me the women.» «-Forest

dear, with such smooth rivers, An age passes, another appears, You, from as youth as you really are, Still far much you get so younger.» «-What’s

my age, whilst since whole ages Stars are coruscating’n my lakes, Whether weather good or bad, Rustling is for me the wind, sounding, the leafage; Whether weather good or bad, Flowing down for me, Danube. Man alone is the one changing, On an Earth so wandering, But we are just kept untouched, As we were, the same we bide, The sea and the rivers, The world and the wastelands, The Moon as well as the Sun is, The verdure and the springs.»

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Dimitrie Bolintineanu: Stephen the Great’s mom (Muma lui Ştefan cel Mare)

I

On a black cliff, in an old castle, Where a rivlet falls down to dale, Weeping and sighing is the lady young, So sweet and gentle like a pink carthusian; ’ Cause there’ n the battle her husband the wished Is left with his army and back he’s not reached. Those blue eyes of hers burning are in tears Like shining in the dew two violets; Her curls of gold fall on her white breast, The roses and lilies come on face to mix. But mother-in-law lady is watching her And with sweet words encouragin’ her. II

Night and a half a wall-clock 'o clock is gongin’. There at the castle’s gate, who, perchance, is knockin’? «-It’ s me, my good mom, your son the wished; Me, and from the field I’m back here wounded. Our fate was cruel this time indeed: My little army is running off defeated. But, the gate, open up... The Turks’re here surroundin’... The wind’s blowing cold... My wounds, painin’!» The young lady there on the window’s running to see. «-Hey, wha’ re you doin’ , childess?» said the grand lady. Then she went to the gate And in that night’s silence thus to speak she came: «-Wha’ re you sayin’, you, stranger? My Stephen is away; His arm through camps thousands of deads would slay. I am his mom, he’s my son; If you’re the one, then I’m not your mom! But, if the Heaven wishes to burden heavy My years of oldness and make me sorry, Then it’ll mean your noble soul was changed thus like a weed; If you’re my Stephen then, indeed, You here without a victory Cannot enter willingly. Go there back to army! For your land you die! And at your tomb with flowers we all shall cry!» III

Stephen went back then and bugling his horn; His defeated army comes from all valleys along. The battle commences anew... crushed are the enemies, Falling down like ears cut by sickles’ blades.

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Mircea Demetriade: The aquila and the snail (Acvila şi melcul)

On a mountain’s crest was resting an aquilla, one quite proud. She was even confronting the sun’s light, saying to itself: «What a great one I am right here, where resting I am and were! A man, for instance, hardly can, in the horizon there, look up into the sun; while me, I’m like feeding myself with its ray, the flaming one!» -You’re wrong! I am greater than you, I really am! ’ Cos I’ m keeping you under my body and arm!.. Said the snail, that over there above its neck was lying on its back. -What? Who’s sent you here? The aquila, so mad and furious on it, asked it: -C ’mon, you creature despicable and hideous, how did you manage to climb on me, such a world’s humiliation!? And the snail answered to it, quite proud: -By crawliation! How many like these we’ve got, if you can see them thus, they’re the crawling snails, on some aquilas!

G. Ranetti: Zero and One (Zero şi Unu)

Number Zero, there she’s, so weary, panting due to her fatty size of fable, wished one day to sit at the table, for she was also really hungry (Her paunch is forever empty), just by One. So, lowly then Zero asked to be allowed there for a little, for one minute, for she’s so cripple, to eat there as well a morsel as a trifle. But then the One, like a crazy one, offended the poor Zero:

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-How dare you, you picaroo’, to come here by me to sit? Can’t you see it how scampish you are, bro’? A null thing!.. A nothing-zero! But me, being so haughty looking proud, and like a rolling pin so upright, I’m standing in front of all, in front of all the numbers as a whole! Why, you, being at the table with me!? You, when I saw you with someone else just like you of worthless, just like you of meaningless, waiting in front of the doors and latrines? Get away from here! -Don’t be so proud in front of the humble one, you One, crazy one!.. Zero answered to him at once -You’ve been generous never once; you’re not even a real man, as a proof, you don’t divide, nor multiply. This is a fact, man! As this quarrel was inflamed, at a brim to be turned to a mess, the number Two, armed, came full of courage to war against the number One, and it would have destroyed them by a fire of cannon, or maybe by another type of a weapon, if the One, too frightened, didn’t called Zero by a calling of alarming. Zero, forgiving the villain, at once by it came, begging Two to go away, One and Zero, now together, for, just trust me - there’s no lie here were as strong as ten of them. Old from those ages of Noah there’s a saying which goes too well: «You’ d always need, yeah, someone smaller than you, man!»

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C. Bălăcescu: The ass and the fox (Mãgarul şi vulpea)

An ass, who in a lion-skin quite well being wrapped up And all the other beasts had terrified, Wishing to scare even a fox over there in a hen coop eyed, At once in front of her he came out, quite frowning at, But as he opened his mouth, as it’s spoken, At once she said to him by laughter as token: «O,

you blessed by clowns, gosh! What good that you’re masked! If I heard not your funny voice, I swear I’d have been now scared!» Till they have their mouth open many people look like great men, But only by one single word it’s just over and amen!..

The peasant and the fisherman (Ţãranul şi pescarul)

A peasant went to the marketplace Willing to buy some fish And chosing one big carp put on a brace, With no other wish Became serious at once And commenced to sniff its tail. The fisherman, seeing such an oddity, Without any patience said about the stale, Laughing gigglingly: -Such a strange man like you, chum, I’ve never seen in my whole life On this earth-mum, Nor such a mind in foolishness rife! Smelling the fish at its tail!.. If you wished to smell its freshness, smell its head, you Christian! ’ Cos a fish gets first fishy its head, this’s known by everyone! -About its head, said our peasant then, There’s no doubt about this piece; For I know it, I know it well, the poor fish green Is stunk of long since. I wish to check its tail, who knows maybe there’s a good heft, For it’s possible by chance it to still have something good left.

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Anthology of Romanian poetry - translations by Miqhael-M. Khesapeake