Two Poems by Aura Christi (from The God’s Orbit) translated from Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin and Petru Iamandi

Whose suffering
has built its nest in me
and doesn’t want to leave
or stay?
What deity screams
their grief through my body,
terrible beauty,
feverish quadriga?
What rumble swirls,
roars, grows, struggles
like a bird caught
between life and death?
The summer fades away like in a dream, everywhere.
You feel something in your eyes has faded.
You look at yourself in the mirror and listen to your humming:
I no longer am, I, I no longer am.
Everything’s strange, lost and distant.
No one’s around, yet something trembles;
something unseen seems to float like a wing,
brushing softly against you.
No one’s around, you keep saying, no one at all.
But then why is the air filling
with something impossible and heavy?
The darkness grows bewilderingly;
soon it will fall over everywhere;
it’s made its nest in the hands, icons,
hourglass and eyes.
Between you and the sky there’s one syllable
of a forgotten verb from a dead language.
Not a big deal. Just wait. It’s night.
Your room fills with something obscure
that reminds you of the one you used to be
in another life, maybe; everything’s strange, left
on the surface of the being, distant, so very far.
The days get shorter, as they’re supposed to.
The seconds get longer, night’s perfume is strong
and the being – reduced to heart, eyes, breaths.
Whose face is gathering itself, suddenly to show itself?
Aura Christi has published 15 volumes of poetry and 6 novels. Born in 1967 in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, she now lives in Romania. The poems here derive from her 2016 collection, The God’s Orbit. Her poems appeared in the 2003 anthology of poems of poets from Moldova (the former Soviet Bessarabia), Singular Destinies, and more recently, in the journal Poem [in the U.K.] and Osiris, Cider Press Review and Apple Valley Review.
Petru Iamandi teaches in Galați, Romania, at the Dunărea de Jos University [Lower Danube University]. A prolific translator, with over 100 books between Romanian/English, Iamandi translated Mihail Gălățanu’s The Starry Womb with Sorkin (Diálogos, 2014).
Adam J. Sorkin has won numerous awards including the Poetry Society (U.K.), Ioan Flora, and Poesis prizes. He most recently published Mircea Dinescu’s The Barbarians’ Return, translated with Lidia Vianu (Bloodaxe, 2018), his 60th book of translation. He is Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus, Penn State Brandywine.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s