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Poetry in Translation (LXXIII-LXXV): Al. O. Teodoreanu, aka ‘Pastorel’ – “At Stalin’s Death”

February 12th, 2010 · No Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, Translations

Al. O. Teodoreanu (Pastorel)

Al. O. Teodoreanu (Pastorel)

Al. O. Teodoreanu (1894-1964)

Lawyer, novelist, poet, epigramist, epicurian, gastronomer, bohemian, bon-viveur and political prisoner. Brother of novelist Ionel Teodoreanu (1897-1954)

Best remembered in the Romanian literature as a most incisive and witty epigramist. His downfall during the dour years of Communist dictatorship was caused by his unrepentant rebellious spirit in producing political epigrams which enjoyed the widest circulation as oral literature: such lyrics were only published after the fall of Communism, as they would not pass the censorship.  Indeed it caused the poet to come under the radar of  the Securitate, the Romanian secret services, which subjected him to long interrogationfollowed by a ten-year prison sentence from which he came out a shadow of himself.

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A Doua zi (dupa moartea lui Stalin)
Îl plâng pe Stalin şi vă jur
C-am să vă spun secretul:
Mă tem că vom pupa în cur
De-acum tot Comitetul!

The Day After (Stalin’s Death) [I]

At Stalin’s death I cried my eyes out

The secret being truly gritty:

We will be made to go about

Licking the arse of a Committee.

The Day After (Stalin’s Death) [II]

At Stalin’s death I cried my eyes out

My sorrow turning to a farce:

To have instead to go about

Licking a whole Committee ‘s arse.

The Day After (Stalin’s Death) [III]

At Stalin’s death,  blue tears I shed

At a perspective all too gritty,

As we’ll be made to kiss instead

The arses of a whole Committee.

(Rendered in English by Constantin ROMAN, London, February 2010)

Constantin Roman © 2010. All Rights Reserved

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