10:44 PM Posted by James Owens


Poem în o

Acum când sângele meu s-a preschimbat
în apă vino să te scalzi seara
la lumina astrelor pure pleoapele
mele vor rămâme închise pe veci

ca doi lotuşi calmi şi palizi
pe am de negre pe atât de negre ape. O!

Poem in o

Now that my blood has changed
to water come tonight to swim
through transparent planetary light my
eyelids will lie flat forever closed

like pale lotuses floating calm
on water, so black, so black. O!

Nichita Danilov
from second-hand souls
translated by Sean Cotter



Roxana said...

it is a very beautiful poem, James. thank you.
still, I have somehow the feeling that the middle of the poem cannot compete with the perfection of the first two lines. but the ending is marvellous, too.
I don't like the translation, though. 'swim' is horrible here. and 'lie flat' is not very poetical, I think. 'transparent planetary light' is not very poetical either and completely misses the point of ' astrelor pure' (realm of the pure ideas).

ps. "rămâme" should be "rămâNe" and
"pe am de negre pe atât de negre ape" should be, I think: "pe ATAT de negre pe atât de negre ape".

James Owens said...

I had a feeling that something was wrong with "transparent planetary light."

"scalzi" --- my horrible dictionary (that will soon be in the trash bin) says "bathe" and an online dictionary I found says "drown." And both give these words as their only option. What would be the best translation?

When I first read your PS, I thought I must have typed the lines wrong. But no ... this is what the book has (which is maybe why I couldn't figure out the grammar of the last line), and this book is from a press that I had believed could be trusted. I am becoming so disappointed with the quality of Romanian materials for English readers. Ugh!!!

Roxana said...

yes, I think 'bathe' would be best. in romanian 'scalda' is very poetic as it is also an older word, which one doesn't usually use anymore to say 'swim' or 'take a bath'.

YOU should try and translate it :-)