Poezii
Romanian Voice
Nichita Stănescu
About the state of struggling

As though the superior knife adge
had cut my clouds from the mountain tops
does my immense and headless body hurl itself about,
leaving its fugitive head in the sky.

It cannot die though it no longer knows
what its own life meant, in ages past.
The eye above observes
the body below, its struggling -
From the open throat
a flock of green and chirping birds wells up -
The hand thrusts its claws
into the mirage -
The eye, suspended, watches
the desperate struggle.

The ship of flesh, caught in the storm,
will never founder -
Help me lovely cathedral
I saw in another town -
This moment of chaos
tolls with your bells.
I pray thee lovely cathedrals,
you, in another town,
allow the beauty of silence
to flow over me -
This body is the same
as the body of a river
suddenly beheaded by
its speaking delta.
May the flight of red birds
overtake you, lovely cathedral -
they rise in the sky, howling and croaking,
laughing from the severed neck -

Receive them, lovely cathedral
on the tongue of your bell, receive them -
Help me, lovely cathedral
i saw in another town -
Grant me silence, lovely cathedral,
and a different manner of death.

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


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