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POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCXXXVII), Tadeusz RòZEWICZ (1921– 2014), POLAND: “Supravieţuitorul”, “The Survivor”

June 13th, 2015 · No Comments · Famous People, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCXXXVII), Tadeusz Różewicz (1921– 2014), POLAND: “Supravieţuitorul”, “The Survivor”

Tadeusz Rozewicz

“Supravieţuitorul”
Tadeusz Różewicz (1921-2014)

Am ani două zeci şi patru
fiind mânat la abator
am supravieţuit.

Iată câteva sinonime golite de orice conţinut:
om şi fiară
dragoste şi ură
prieten şi dusman
intuneric şi lumină.

Uciderea oamenilor şi animalelor este aidoma
am văzut cu ochii mei:
căruţe pline de trupuri sfârtecate
ce nu vor mai fi ingropate.

Cuvintele sunt lipsite de conţinut:
virtute şi crimă
adevăr şi minciună
frumuseţe şi sluţenie
curaj şi laşitate
toate cântăresc de-opotrivă
am văzut-o
la un om care era de o potrivă
criminal şi virtuos.

Caut un dascăl şi un îndrumător
ca să-mi redea văzul auzul şi graiul
ca să pot desluşi obiectele şi ideile
să pot distinge întunericul de lumină.

Am ani două zeci şi patru
fiind mânat la abator
am supravieţuit.

Versiune în limba română de Constantin ROMAN, Londra
© 2015 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

* * * * *

rozewicz poems

The Survivor
Tadeusz Różewicz

I am twenty-four
led to slaughter
I survived.

The following are empty synonyms:
man and beast
love and hate
friend and foe
darkness and light.

The way of killing men and beasts is the same
I’ve seen it:
truckfuls of chopped-up men
who will not be saved.

Ideas are mere words:
virtue and crime
truth and lies
beauty and ugliness
courage and cowardice.

Virtue and crime weigh the same
I’ve seen it:
in a man who was both
criminal and virtuous.

I seek a teacher and a master
may he restore my sight hearing and speech
may he again name objects and ideas
may he separate darkness from light.

I am twenty-four
led to slaughter
I survived.

(English version by Adam Czerniawski)
* * * * * *

Rozewicz - The Survivor

Rozewicz – The Survivor

SHORT BIO NOTE: Tadeusz Różewicz (9 October 1921 – 24 April 2014) was a Polish poet, dramatist and writer. Różewicz belonged to the first generation of Polish writers born after Poland regained its independence in 1918 following the century of foreign partitions. He was born in Radomsko near Łódź. His first poems were published in 1938. During the Second World War, like his brother Janusz (also a poet), he was a soldier of the Polish underground Home Army. His other brother Stanisław was a noted film director. Tadeusz Różewicz was the son of Władysław and Stefania Różewicz, his mother née Gelbard, being a Jewish convert to Catholicism. Unlike his elder brother Janusz, also a highly promising poet, who was executed by the Gestapo in 1944 for serving in the Resistance, Tadeusz survived the war. On finishing high-school, he enrolled at the Jagiellonian University of Kraków, and then in the late 1940s moved to Gliwice where he lived for the next thirty years. In 1968 he moved to Wrocław where he lived for the rest of his life. Czesław Miłosz hailed his poetic gifts in a poem in 1948. His literary debut as a highly innovative playwright began in 1960 with The Card Index (Kartoteka), by which time he was already the author of fifteen acclaimed volumes of poetry published since 1944.
He had written over a dozen plays and several screenplays. The eruption of dramaturgical energy was also accompanied by volumes of poetry and prose. Some of his best known plays other than The Card Index include, The Interrupted Act (Akt przerywany, 1970), Birth Certificate (Świadectwo urodzenia, screenplay to an award-winning film by the same title, 1961), Left Home (Wyszedł z domu, 1965), and The White Wedding (Białe małżeństwo, 1975). His New Poems collection was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008. Some of his works were translated into all major languages.

Różewicz died in Wrocław on 24 April 2014 at the age of 92.

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