Poezii
Romanian Voice
Nichita Stănescu
The Keynote

The bone is a joy only when it's the forehead bone,
when it protects, does not disjoin,
as are the alkaline vertebrae
from the difficult depths of the flesh and the wedding.
I'm resigned to losing the habit
of my manner of being,
but not the desrtion
preserved in the verb to be.

------------------------------------------------------

I will lose the habit of using my body,
giving birth to a Prince Charming of verbs,
as the wolf loses the habit of being a wolf,
of hunger.

I will lose the habit of stars in the heavens
as frozen water loses the habit of snowflakes.
I will take my frozen body
and give it to the young goats that they might graze it.

It was my lot, and easily given,
to lose the habit of being a man.
To lose the habit of living,
I needed only death with murder.

I find it hardest to lose the habit of wolves.
they are alone and on the snow.
Surely I must lose the habit of loneliness.
Surely I must lose the habit of snow.

For what remains, time departs, time returns.

From the book "Bas-Relief with Heroes"
english translation by Thomas Carlson and Vasile Poenaru.


Poetry page