Translations from the Romanian


Marin Sorescu

Let’s Help

Give one a breath,
Another a wheeze,
Others some iron soles
To help them move.

Everything’s got to run,
Like germs in a diseased cell,
Souls, doors,
Stars that live
By Rotating.

Bring crowbars,
Get ready to push from behind
Leaves in withered trees,
Lines in life’s palm.

I’ve got a grudge-only the dead are quiet
In all respects!

Oh, if they too would take
At least a step a day,
Disturbing the equilibrium,
The earth would find the necessary force
To remain at rest in the nothingness.

(Translated from the Romanian by Adriana Varga and Stuart Friebert)


Marin Sorescu

Below the Horizon

When I wake up
My first concern
Is starting the infernal machine
Hidden somewhere below the horizon.

The sky turns red. The machine
keeps working all day long. Tick-tock!
Tick-tock! I
Watch it, terrified.

In the evening, I notice I’m still alive,
Though many assure me
The explosion has already occurred⁠—
Discretely, deep down, damn it!

I touch myself,
Yes, I seem to be
I touch myself again,
Fall asleep happy,
Dreaming of the infernal machine
Just below the horizon.

(Translated from the Romanian by Adriana Varga and Stuart Friebert)