Poesie d´Auteur in today´s Romania
By Dr. Mircea Dan Duta
If we are to define some common features for the four authors presented here, we will find out very soon there´s quite a difficult task. Rather than defining them by their age (all in their thirties) or gender (all young-ish men), I would like to focus on their work. They all have a very personal style, which creates more or less their unique, idiosyncratic poetics.
None of them could be suspected of standardisation, academism, commercial or conventional tendencies as specific features of their work. All four are removed from the mainstream poetry.
They have no need to cross its more or less relative boundaries because they have a lot to say within their own stylistic and thematic realms. I am not trying to criticize or downplay the contemporary Romanian mainstream as it is a strong, complex, impressive and surprisingly quite fresh movement (or rather a stream of movements), however I do not intend to explore it here. The reason why we present these four poets is because they do not follow any prescribed recipes or methods – they have their own. They are not in conflict with the mainstream, in fact on personal level, they are friends with the poetic trendsetters in Romania. They simply do not need any auspices because of their own unique way with words, they create what we call poesie d’auteur.
I believe their talents and strong poetic voices should be heard more and get more recognition outside their narrow circle and it is the main reason why I selected these four poets for the translation feature in Fragmented Voices. I would like to express my gratitude for this opportunity.
I Saw a Little Animal Crossing the Street
I saw a little animal crossing the street.
It was walking as if it had to get somewhere.
Do you still love me?
You bought me sneakers. I spent several hundred hours in those sneakers
on the street, at my desk, during classes, on benches, in parks, and in bars…
I sat as if I had nowhere to be.
I thought at some point to tell you something good,
I kept thinking of what to tell you,
and no good word from my lips.
You know, when I was six, my mom took me out to take pictures with me,
as if she knew that little boy wasn’t going to make it,
that his image needed to be kept somehow.
I followed that little animal for tens of meters,
but it seemed to know what it was doing, and I envied it.
A hedgehog on the street,
an old, tired, huge hedgehog. He was crying.
I slept with the hedgehog on my chest,
and he, scared, and I, insomniac, we somehow connected,
and fell asleep.
You told me we snored, me and the hedgehog.
The sneakers from you broke and smell horribly, although I still wear them in sun or rain.
I think that little, untamed animal is the one who has no place or no reason to go.
Do you still love me? Tomorrow I’ll throw away these sneakers,
but I’ll keep them for today, they’re so hard to peel off my feet.
Translated by MARGENTO
And the bus station fills with linden scent tonight
just like the smell of all objects in the vicinity of the carol
park good morning love doves you wrote me and then I believe
it stopped raining on the constantin brâncoveanu boulevard my watch
is in good hands you can reclaim it upon your return
#legacy #poetry #expired #vodka only at a teodor dună’s reading
you can witness andrei zbîrnea drinking rosé good morning
love doves how did you sleep my bedroom door was locked I didn’t
rummage through the pantry good morning love doves the ceiling is about
to collapse. I can’t let you crash here next time you’re in town good morning
love doves the city unfolds like a handheld fan in a Turkish bazaar a Gruzin
painter locked himself in an attic caricatures don’t tell us about globalization an
Armenian movie director good morning love doves and coming to terms with sexuality
in the ‘50s good morning love doves good morning emir kusturica good morning jazz.
june 21 2018
Translation by Daniela Hendea
People were dying all around him and tombs were being born,
pain was building its kingdom around him,
fear was bringing forth monsters all around.
He didn’t shoot at anybody and no bullet touched him.
When the war stopped,
they found him motionless, gun fully charged, the trigger loose and cold,
his eyes void, unslept and cold,
his heart empty, beating vainly, in a death toll.
They judged him according to martial law
and named him traitor, chicken, wet-behind-the-ears, a punk,
He was forbidden passage through the arch of triumph
and was erased from all the conscript lists;
next he was convicted not to die
until he would have lived through the horrors of 41 more wars.
Not for an instant did he understand what was going on around him.
Inside himself, he had already been through a life-long
war raised to the power of 41.
The war with his deaf-and-dumb self.
(Verses from the volume I, the Deaf-and-Dumb (Tracus Arte Publishing, 2018)
Translation by Adriana Bulz
every evening i eat my sardines from the north atlantic i drink my bulgarian wine i open my soul like nuns in movies showing louis de funès therefore I start writing and a little drummer comes out of my head hitting hitting hitting his plastic drum a toy my brain manages to make work only at dawn after nervously pedaling the whole night in the morning when the piranha sparrows start crunching out of my heart while the white belly of the day is slowly falling down on me I feel death cheating on me I feel the rays of the sun passing through my body as x-rays penetrating some animal corpse hanging from a nail in the slaughterhouse revealing entrails the most pathetic of them being the ones of a writer wallowing around in self-pity
Translation by Mircea Dan Duta
About the Authors
Cosmin Perța was born in Viseu de Sus, Maramures, in 1982. He is a poet, prose writer, drama writer and essayist. He graduated from the Literature Faculty of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj. He went on to take an MA in Contemporary Literature at Bucharest University, followed by a PhD with a thesis on the subject of the fantastic in East-European literature. His poems have been translated into eleven languages and some of his novels are currently being translated into four languages. In the Romanian and foreign press there are more than three hundred reviews and references to his work. In the last ten years he has been awarded some of the most prestigious Romanian literary prizes.
Andrei Zbîrnea was born in 1986. He is a firstname.lastname@example.org, copywriter, and sometimes poet as well as a handy man@ Mornin’ Poets Wokshop. Borussia Dortmund fan and also big lover of The Office (US) Tv Series, Andrei hopes to write prose someday. His published books include Rock în Praga (Herg Benet Pusblisher, 2011); #kazim (contemporani cu primăvara arabă) (Herg Benet Publishers, 2014); Turneul celor cinci națiuni (frACTalia, 2017) ; Pink Pong (with Claus Ankersen, frACTalia, 2019)
Romeo Aurelian ILIE (RAI) is a 32-year old Romanian poet. He has only one poetry book, named “41. I, the Deaf-and-Dumb”( Tracus Arte Publishing House, Bucharest, 2018), that was published after winning a debut contest. He has also published poetry, literary criticism and essay in various cultural journals in Romania, the Republic of Moldova, Spain, Italy and the USA.
Ciprian Măceșaru (b. 1976, Câmpina) is a writer, musician, illustrator and cultural journalist. His works were included in numerous anthologies. Poems and / or stories of his have been translated into Italian, Czech, Hungarian, Hebrew, Yiddish, English and Bulgarian. He is the founder of the cultural magazine Accente, based in Bucharest. Ciprian is also a drummer of Hotel Fetish and Toulouse Lautrec bands. He wrote a libretto for the chamber opera In the Body, composed by Diana Rotaru. Irish composer Gráinne Mulvey wrote work Don´t Walk, based on his lyrics. He has won multiple prestigious awards, among them Diploma of Excellence for European Journalism, awarded by EUROLINK – House of Europe, 2010; The Young Writer of the Year 2013 Unpublished Novel Manuscript Award, granted by the Bucharest Prose Branch of the Romanian Writers´ Union. His list of published books is extensive, just to mention a few recent ones: And It Got Dark (Next Page Publishing House, 2018); The Past is Always One Step Ahead of You (Cartea Românească Publishing House, 2016); Dark Sources (Casa de pariuri literare, 2020), The Invisible Runner (Paralela 45 Publishing House, 2019).