Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An Elegy from the Romanian of Nichita Stanescu, by Elisa Sampedrín

as conveyed by Erín Moure

Sheepish Elegy

opting for the real

I carry such frenzy i’m nervous,

my green limbs galvanize and

won’t perish in amnesia.

No more does stone own me, nor will i carry one last

cutting battle to the grave of stones,

but cut it repeatedly free of the machines.

It is not my place or lore

to set free symbols with their encrypted dints

but to hold and celebrate all cattle

doubly lithe in a dance of ebony.

No more will i carry the heat of misery;

with my arms’ incipient mortar

and faithful hands, i embrace time

to galvanize the possible, the lore of existence.

I’ve never called life sacred. So much

have i seen it

accelerate in concrete form.

Having never been pristine as a star

i can’t ponder

my own life.

I was in it. I carried it in the heat of day.

It dried. Pestilence retreated from it.

I carried it in the wings of birds,

and they gave me new wings to fall into the borealis.

How could i have given credence

to the void? Everything for flight.


for the wish that lifts up the limbs of

the sky and takes flight.

So i extend my hand, and its fingers

are five hands,

thus each hand’s fingers

hand five tomorrows, in which

each finger

quintuples tomorrow, in fingers.

Everything for the embrace!

Each bit, everything,

for piping up reborn to shake off privilege,

and for gaiety

to fill up the blood, triply,

with presence.

One of 12 Elegies from the Romanian of Nichita Stanescu as translated by one Elisa Sampedrin who, as Oana Avasilichioaei points out in a blurb on this privately printed volume of poetry, "risks to not know..."