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Poetry in Translation (VIII): Ana Blandiana – “Morning Elegy”

February 18th, 2003 · No Comments · Poetry, Translations

At the beginning I promised to say nothing,
But later, in the morning
I saw you coming past the gates with bags of ashes
Scattering them as if one was sowing wheat.
As I could no longer contain myself, I shouted: What are you doing? What are you doing?
It is for you that I had snowed all over town, the whole night,
It is for you that I had blanched everything, the whole night, O if
You only could understand how difficult it is to snow!
Last night, you were hardly asleep, as I flew into space
It was dark and cold out there. I had to
Fly all the way to that single point where
The vacuum makes the suns spin and it snuffles them out,
And as I was still throbbing for a while in this corner
So that I could return and snow over you
The smallest snowflake I had to watch, weigh, approve,
Mature, make it glisten by looking at it,
And now I am feeling sleepy and exhausted and am feverish.
As I am watching you spreading the dust of that extinguished fire
Over my immaculately white work, I am smiling telling you:
Much higher snowdrifts will come after me
And they will cover you with all the white in the world.
Do try to understand, from the very beginning, this law,
Gigantic snowdrifts will come after us
And you will run out of ashes.
And even the smallest babies will learn how to snow
And the white will cover your poor attempts of denying it.
And planet Earth will enter the whirl of planets
Like a star glistening with snow.

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Ana Blandiana (b. 1942) Poet, Dissident
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Translated from the Romanian by:
Constantin Roman.
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