Dumitru Chioaru

 

 

(Romania)

 

 

 

OUT OF A DISTANT LIGHT

 

I covered my face with my hands – they were transparent

I covered my eyes with my eyelids – they were transparent

my skin was becoming transparent

like an aquarium filled with fish fearful of light

within myself I was praying

covering my hearts – they were transparent

as in a storm the light streamed out of light

out of a distant light

I myself without hands without eyelids without a heart

covered myself with earth

with earth on earth – it is transparent

like the poem covered with word and transparent

born of the firs word

transparent transparent

 

 

translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Bogdan Ştefănescu

 

 

 

THE BARK-GRINDING MILL

 

T’is the name of a street that is winding along

close to the Cibin river

in the Lower City where I walk down

on a foggy October morning

an old book tucked under my arm

and today as in the days of yore

here lies the wagoners’ rest area and pub

where they spin the yarn of their mishaps

at the hands of stingy Upper-City gents –

on the foggy October morning

I inquire an old man about the likely origin of the name

of the Bark-Grinding Mill Street that is winding along

close to the Cibin river

and he standing in the doorway shrugs his shoulders

and laughingly tells me that the answer

lies in the book that I carry tucked under my arm

while yellow leaves fall from the trees

and scatter at my feet

like a loosely-bound book

inside which I might read about my fate –

on that October day at high noon I was struck

by the resemblance between the old man’s complexion

and the bark of the trees

between the bark of the trees and the covers of the book

and all of them together brought to life the image

of a paper mill using the bark of weeping

willow trees lining the banks of the Cibin river

along which in another life I used to write my poems

and scatter them as the autumn

does with the waxen cheeks of the leaves –

and today as in the days of yore

a man with a book tucked under his arm would walk down

the Bark-Grinding Mill Street that is winding along

close to the Cibin river

 

 

translated by Heathrow O’Hare alias Ştefan Stoenescu

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BIO

Poet, literary critic and essayist. Born on October 19th 1957 in Sîngătin (Sibiu). He graduated in 1980 from the Faculty of Letters (Roumanian –French) and got his  Ph. D. title (1998) at “Babeş-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca. As a student, he was a member of the literary group of Echinox, a cultural magazine in Cluj-Napoca.  At present, he teaches Comparative Literature, at the Department of Romanian Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Arts, “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu; he is also bringing out the Euphorion literary magazine, being its editor-in-chief. He made his debut in Transilvania literary magazine. His editorial debut took place in 1982 at Albatros Publishing House, with the volume of poetry Seara adolescentină/ A Teeanager’s Evening, book for which he was awarded the Prize of the Romanian Writers’ Union. This first book was followed by other volumes of poetry: Secolul sfîrşeşte într-o duminică/ The Century Ends on a Sunday (Cartea Românească, 1991), Noaptea din zi / The Night Within the Day (Biblioteca Euphorion, 1994), 2002), Viaţa şi opiniile profesorului Mouse/ The Life and Opinions of Professor Mouse (Limes, 2004)

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