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Poetry in Translation (CCXXXII): England, Philip LARKIN (1922-1985), “Heads in the Women’s Ward”, “Azil”

December 3rd, 2013 · No Comments · International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations, Uncategorized

Poetry in Translation (CCXXXII): England, Philip LARKIN (1922-1985), “Heads in the Women’s Ward”, “Azil”

Dementia

Philip LARKIN (1922-1985)
Heads in the Women’s Ward

On pillow after pillow lies
The wild white hair and staring eyes;
Jaws stand open; necks are stretched
With every tendon sharply sketched;
A bearded mouth talks silently
To someone no one else can see.
Sixty years ago they smiled
At lover, husband, first-born child.
Smiles are for youth. For old age come
Death’s terror and delirium.

AZIL
Philip LARKIN (1922-1985)

Un cap cu ochii ţintuiţi
Pe-o pernă şade devălmaş,
Cu părul alb şi răvăşit
Şi vene negre pe grumaz.
Un glas vorbeşte-n barba albă
Cu oameni care nu mai sunt,
Aceiaşi ce cu ani în urmă
Râdeau ca pruncul nou-născut.
Râsul e tânăr – timpul fugi
Delirul morţii e tot ce ştii.

Romanian version by:
Constantin ROMAN,
© 2013, Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

SHORT BIO: Born in Coventry and educated at Oxford, Larkin started his poetry career whilst still a University student during the war years.He had various jobs as librarian which enabled him to continue write and publish poetry for which he was awarded in 1964, the Queens medal for poetry. He was a regular contributor to jazz monthly reviews, published by the Daily Telegraph and was an editor of the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse. n 1984 he received an honorary D.Litt. from Oxford University, and was elected to the Board of the British Library. In December of 1984 he was offered the chance to succeed Sir John Betjeman as Poet Laureate but declined, being unwilling to accept the high public profile and associated media attention of the position. He was made a Companion of Honour shortly before his demise.

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