Stairway to sky*

by Marin Sorescu

A spider wire
Hangs from the ceiling.
Right above my bed.

Every day I observe it
Coming lower.
I tell myself:
– I am being sent
A stairway to sky.
It is being thrown from above.

Although I lost so much weight,
I am only the ghost of the man I once was,
I believe that my body
Is yet too heavy
For this delicate stairway.

– My soul, you go first.
Slowly, slowly.

* Marin Sorescu’s last poem

There are frightening crests

by Vasile Voiculescu

In our souls there are frightening crests,
Yet nobody climbs them, they are untouched,
Above, over mists – storms and disasters,
Upon them the light never dies out…

The sunrise sends  there its very first ray,
And his final glow the twilight does send,
Upon their foreheads the light always shines,
Like a kiss which will never come to an end.

Seldom, an eagle with brown wings appears,
Wandering flies on the crests, and then sits,
For deeply caught in the charm of bright secrets
He abides in the heights, and never descends.

To Galateea

by Nichita Stanescu

I know all your moments, all your movements, all your perfumes,
and your shadow, and your silences, and your breast
their tremble, and their color,
and your pace, and your melancholy, and your brows,
and your blouse, and your ring, and the second,
and I can no longer wait, and I drop my knee in the stones
and I beseech you,
give birth to me.

I know all that is away from you,
so far away that there is no more near –
the after-noon, the after-horizon, the beyond-the-sea…
and all that is beyond them,
and so distant, it no longer has a name.
That is why I bend my knee, and I lay it
on the stones’ knee, humming it.
And I beseech you,
give birth to me.

I know all you never know, from inside of you.
The heart beat following the heart beat that you hear,
the end of the word, whose first sillable you speak,
the trees – wooden shades of your veins,
the rivers – moving shades of your blood,
and the stones, the stones – stone shades of my knee,
which I bend in front of you and I beseech you,
give birth to me. Give birth to me.

Verses along the years

by Lucian Blaga

When you step faintly on city streets
on seed of elm, and while you walk
in lucid truths you do believe –
is there a need for any verse?

When mass of moss alleviates
during the summer longing green
and while I hear your dripping voice
is there a need for any spring?

When in the beating of the wind
you gracefully pace on the hill,
upon the compass of the earth
is there a need for a wheat ear?

When between absence and abundance
we both rejoice in all there is
and under ground a bone will sing –
is there a need for any word?

When I divine your burning clay
like in Tanagra none has been,
from far up north and until south
is there a need for statues, dear?

When rambling with you by my side,
we find ourselves now hand in hand
while pondering at the same star –
is  there a need for destiny?

When all achievements fail to dust
under the galaxy of smoke
and through the fragrance of fir trees
is there a need for any road?

If I were to forever live
inside your thought, clay that I am,
from dusk till dawn, from dusk till dawn
is there a need for any tomb?


by Nichita Stanescu

He held out towards me a leaf like a hand with fingers.
I held out towards him a hand like a leaf with teeth.
He held out towards me a branch like an arm.
I held out towards him my arm like a branch.
He leaned his trunk like an apple towards me.
I leaned towards him my shoulder
like a gnarled trunk.
I could hear his sap accelerating, beating
like blood.
I could hear my blood slowing down, ascending like sap.
I passed through him.
He passed through me.
I remained a solitary tree.
a solitary man.


by Bartolomeu Anania

Lord, hold out Your stole
on my face of clay,
to whiten with Your chalk
my fool and ugly soul,
when sunset spins its thread
over a small quiet thought.

Our neighbors will hear us if I speak,
and judgment is a sin,
I stand on a corner, bent,
I write the burden of my guilt,
while You, at dinner time
whisper You’ve forgiven me.

Roosted on a new hearth
we will march towards a new song,
I, a handful of dust,
You, light in a dew drop,
we will work at the book,
You – three, I – one word.

And wearing Your sandals
You will walk on stellar path,
in the letters’ border,
I will stop You in Your way,
and in the miracle of Your will
I will drink You from the chalice.


by Lucian Blaga

My friend, you who grew up in the city,
without mercy, like flowers in the windows,
my friend, you, who have never yet seen
field and sun playing under pears in flower,
I want to take you by the hand,
I want to show you the furrows of the century.

On the hills, where you turn,
with beaks dug in the healthy field
there are ploughs, ploughs, countless ploughs,
great black birds.
In order not to scare them –
you have to come close singing.

Come slowly.