Dr. Shamenaz Sheick








Draghincescu, Rodica, Words, Under My Skin, Poetry, Finishing Line Press: Georgetown, Kentucky (USA) 014





Words Under My Skin is an anthology of beautiful verses composed by famous Romanian -French Poet, Rodica Draghincescu which have been translated in English by Howard Scott. Draghincescu was born in Buzias, Romania and was part of a movement of nonconformist Romanian writers born out of the fall of the Ceausescu regime in 1989, artists and writers that critics called the “90’s generation.” In Romanian Press, for many years she was called as “the female Michel Butor of Romania, the Natalie Sarraute of the Romanians, the Amazon of Romanian Letters”. So this means that she holds a prestigious position in the field of poetry in Romania. She has published 10 books in her native country. Not only poems but she is credited with publishing novels, books of interviews and literary essays. She has won many international awards.

Howard Scott, the English translator of poems of Words Under My Skin lives in Montreal and has translated many books of non-fiction. He is a past president of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada.

The anthology, Words Under My Skin is divided into two chapters; Chapter I which is also given a subtitle as NON SOLUM has poems, Not sleeping!, Educational Violence, (Ex)Inspire!, Astrum, Postcard, as if and ‘The West will be for tomorrow’. And Chapter II, subtitled as SED ETIAM has poems  ‘Words, Under My Skin’, ‘Nodes of Water’, ‘Bach’, ‘The Voices of Habit’ , ‘Chopped Carpet’, ‘whatever comes, whatever happens’ , ‘No’, ‘as since’, ‘as why’, ‘Aponia’, ‘The forgetting of being’, ‘The Monarch Butterfly’, ‘Between Abyss and Abscissa’, ‘extreme patriotism, exaggerated self-criticism’ ‘Cécifoot’ , ‘oxymoron’, ‘Trans Poetam’.

The very first poem, ‘Not sleeping!’ is subjective in nature in which poetess is telling about her innocent childhood wish and the harsh realities of life when a person grows elder. In ‘Educational Violence’, she recollects an incident of her childhood. This theme is carried forward in her next poem, (Ex)Inspire!, in which she tells the readers one of her childhood’s hobby. As she says:

As a child, I loved the fields of cemeteries with their black bands on the margins of life. I didn’t go there to see and listen to the wind of bones and flesh, This volubility of a successful end I always cried after, In poem, Astrum, she tells about the simple life of a village and the people living there but which has been affected by war. The poem ‘Postcard’, reveals various emotions related with letters. In poem, ‘as if’, she discusses about Romanian tradition and also of her family history. She talks about the departure from place to another in ‘The West will be for tomorrow’. She speaks:

The journey from east to west

before the sign of your parents.

abadoned in a corner of the bus station.

The poem reflects the pain when one has leave one’s own country and cross international boundary to another country. There are many things which changes with the change of place.

In Chapter II, the first poem which is the title poem, ‘Words, Under My Skin’, she is revealing her passion for writing poetry as she tells about her motto of her life, “Nothing is more dear to me nor bring me more pleasure”. There are some love poems in the anthology like, ‘Nodes of Water’ and ‘Bach’. In ‘Nodes of Water’, she speaks:

That kind of freshwater, briny, saltwater answers, speaking drifting on the bracket of the snorkeling couple there where the no said: yes, stay, I don’t love you In next poem, ‘Bach’, she talks about accursed love. In ‘The Voices of Habit’, she has displayed one of her motto behind composing verses: Facing the water, in this rift of words, I am the buoyancy of all things. (rd)

The poem is very symbolic in tone in which Draghincescu various words conveying symbolic meaning like ‘unexpected sleep’, ‘eyes spell’, ‘lack of meaning’, ‘leaping bite’, ‘slaughters of never day’, ‘words wind’, ‘search of a verb’, ‘sleeping things’, ‘translucent tongue’ and ‘shipload of poets’. This symbolic theme is carried forward in another poem, ‘whatever comes, whatever happens’.

The poem, ‘Chopped Carpet’ is a very tragic and poem, ‘as why’ seems to discuss about an individual’s intention of killing. ‘No’ is a very philosophical poem, at the same time it has an optimistic note. Both ‘No’ and ‘as since’ deals with past, present and future. The poem, ‘Aponia’ is inspired by Socrates’s philosophy, “The only thing I know, is that I know nothing” which poet seems to believe in love. ‘The forgetting of being’, ‘Between Abyss and Abscissa’, ‘oxymoron’ and ‘Cécifoot’ are highly philosophical poem. While ‘The forgetting of being’ deal with the idea of forgetting, ‘Between Abyss and Abscissa’ is about writing verses. In poem, ‘The Monarch Butterfly’ she has compared happiness with that of a butterfly reflecting her inclination towards nature poetry.

The poem, ‘extreme patriotism, exaggerated self-criticism’ is a highly imaginative poem creating a different world. It is a masterpiece poem which has been pen down reflecting poet’s sensitivity towards writing poetry. The last poem, ‘Trans Poetam’, begins with a philosophical line, “But what is beyond the poet is there something?”

Most of the poems in the anthology are subjective in nature exhibiting her desire, emotions and sensitivity pen down beautifully in the forms of verses on myriad themes. Some of the verses reflect pains and sufferings present in human lives in various forms. Draghincescu speaks about her passion behind writing poetry in ‘Ars Poetica’ as she says: I write poetry so as not to live. I write poetry so as not to kill. I write poetry to be the moods of my “non being,” my “non having”! Motto of Rodica’s writing poetry is, “Poetry is not a roadside hooker that anyone can have for two or three precious words!.” Michel Bernard, a poet, painter and art critic, highly praises her writings and comments:

“Draghincescu’s writing is very personal, original, strong, constant,

moving at her own pace, setting her own meter. In it, we encounter

falls, ruptures, blackouts…! The words hammer our consciousness,

make us face up to what is obvious in life, the outcome of which

eludes us, and perhaps it is better that way.”

He also believes that Draghincescu writings possess postmodern characteristics; her poetry is lucid, without concessions, full of imagery which appears like a beautiful ornament where readers glean from line to line. Though the anthology has been translated into English but the influence of native language is quite visible with the use of many words and this also due to the influence of Poet. This also demonstrates poet’s love for her native language.

Draghincescu believes that, “I don’t write to aim at the target but rather to pierce the mechanism with its pinhole…”


















Rodica Draghincescu



Academic, Writer and Translator. She writes both in French and in Romanian.

R.D. was born in Buzias, Romania. She was part of a movement of nonconformist Romanian writers born out of the fall of the Ceausescu regime in 1989, artists and writers that critics called the « 90’s generation. » In the Romanian press, Rodica Draghincescu was for a long time considered  » the Amazon of Romanian Letters. »


After teaching French literature in university and doing research in linguistics and stylistics at the Romanian Academy, after publishing10 books in her native country (some of which won prizes from the Romanian writers union, the Bucharest writers Association, etc.), after five years of studies and writing residencies in Germany, after 4 books published in Stuttgart and Berlin, Rodica Draghincescu settled in France, Metz, where she became a literary advisor to several cultural institutions.

In France, Rodica has published, in addition to poetry, novels, books of interviews and literary essays. Her latest book is a poetry collection, RA(ts), illustrated by engraver Marc Granier (Éditions du Petit Pois, 2012), which won the VIRGIL prize for European French-language poetry and literature from the SOCIETE DES POETES FRANCAIS (Paris 2013).


In USA, Rodica has published poetry, translated from French (Words, under my Skin, Finishing Line Press, Translation: Howard Scott, Montreal) and from Romanian (A Sharp Double-Edged Luxury Object, Cervena Barva Press, Translation: Adam J. Sorkin, New York).


Publications in literary magazines and anthologies worldwide – poetry, prose, essays, translations, interviews, and critics.


Participation at festivals in U.S.A., Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Italy, Sweden, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, Moldavia, Canada.


At many festivals and literary events, Rodica has collaborated in readings of her work with Romanian, German, American and French actors and musicians known throughout Europe, such as Hélène Cardona, Hélène Martin, Jean-Luc Kockler, Michel Biehler, Philippe Joncquel, Andrej Lazarev, Ion Caramitru, Dorothea Fleiss, Marc Granier.


In addition, she directs the multidisciplinary, multilingual webmagazine: LEVURE LITTERAIRE (http://www.levurelitteraire.com) and is a member of the editorial board of the German Publishing House Klak from Berlin: http://www.klakverlag.de


Personal Web site:



Key publications in French:

– Fauve en liberté, poems, Les écrits des Forges, 2003 – Ra(ts), poems with engravings by Marc Granier, Éditions du Petit Pois, 2012. – Distance entre un homme habillé et une femme telle qu‘elle est, novel, Éd. Autres Temps, 2001 (translation from Romanian by Florica Ciodaru-Courriol). – À vau-l‘eau, novel, arHsens édiTions, 2006 (translation from Romanian by Florica Ciodaru-Courriol and Rodica Draghincescu)


Awards and fellowships:

2013: EUROPEAN PRIZE  FOR LITERATURE AND POETRY « VIRGIL », CENACLE EUROPEEN & SOCIETE DES POETES FRANÇAIS, PARIS, France. 2006: European prize for poetry, INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL & Society DANTE ALIGHIERI, METZ-NANCY, France. 1992: Special Prize for Poetry, Académie de Lettres et de Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux, France. 1995: Special Prize of the Poetry Festival ‘Goccia di Luna’, Pomezia, Italy. 1996: Prize of the Writer’s Union, Constanta, for debut novel (‘Distanta…’). 1998: Romanian national Prize for Poetry ‘Geo Bogza’. 2001: Prize of the Writer’s Union, Bucharest, for the best poetry book of the year (‘EU-Genia’). 2000-2002: Fellow of the Academy Schloss Solitude and Schriftstellerhouse, Stuttgart, Germany 2015-2016 : Fellow of the DRAC (Lorraine-France)








Dr. Shamenaz Sheick


I am Associate Professor of English in an Engineering College-AIET, Allahabad. Completed Phd in English Literature from University of Allahabad. I have presented papers in many National & International Seminars/Conferences in India and have published many research papers in Indian and Foreign journals. I write book reviews for many journals, magazines and e-magazines. Associated with many National & International Academic organizations.


Associated with Journals (Editorial Board & Advisory Board)-

Ø  International Journal of Research and Humanitarian Studies (Jordan). Joined in 2015. Ø  English Language, Literature, Humanity & Modern Sciences (Iran). Joined in 2014. Ø  Cyber Literature: An Online Journal by R. Y. Shinde (India). Joined in 2013. Ø  Literary Miscellany by Prof Pradip Lahiri (India). Joined in 2013. Ø  Research Access by Mirza Maqsood Beig (India). Joined in 2013. Ø  Expressions by Bijender Singh Soora (India). Joined in 2015. Ø  The Context by Kumar Wani (India). Joined in 2015.


U can read my research papers, books reviews, articles & interviews on www.academia.edu I have a passion for reading and writing. I am also Chairperson of Women Cell & Head of Cultural Committee of AIET, Allahabad.



My blogs 1) www.shamenaz.wordpress.com 2) www.drshamenaz.blogspot.in 3) www.shamenazsheikh.blogspot.in




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