Traian T. Coșovei (1954 – 2014) was a Romanian poet of the ‘80s Generation and a founding member of the ‘Cenaclul de Luni’ literary circle, a group that would eventually set the tone for much of postmodern Romanian poetry.
He was the recipient of a series of prizes, including the Prize of the Romanian Academy and the International Nichita Stănescu Prize. Coșovei published over twenty books of poetry, literary criticism, and prose.
Aseară ți-am golit sertarele de amintiri.
Îți luasem cercei și alte acareturi:
șoapte strecurate în ureche,
îmbrățișări de mucava…
pianul din salon
la care îmi cântai
noapte de noapte,
mătăsurile tale care foșneau roz
ca și mărturisirile tale,
candelabrul greu de cristal,
care arunca lumini ireale
pe umerii tăi,
buzele tale, care îmi șopteau
că se pregătește
al treilea război mondial,
liliacul din grădina ta,
de vremuri mai bune
și pisicile tale smălțuite
plicul alb al trupului tău în lumină…
parfumul acela… atârnat de gâtul tău
ca un bandaj de neliniște.
brățările tale, eșarfele tale, spaimele tale…
Într-o dimineață de toamnă a venit și greva căpșunilor!
The strawberry strike
Last night I emptied your drawer of memories.
I took out your earrings and other nonsense:
whispers slipped into ears,
the salon piano
which you played for me
night after night,
your silks, which swished pink
just like your confessions
the heavy crystal chandelier
that cast ethereal light
on your shoulders,
your lips that whispered to me
that the third World War was imminent,
the lilac bush in your garden,
of better times
and your cats enameled
the white envelope of your body in the light…
that perfume…dangled from your neck
like a bandage of disquiet.
your bracelets, your silk scarves, your fears…
And one autumn morning the strawberry strike began!
Andreea Iulia Scridon is a Romanian-American poet and translator. She studied Comparative Literature at King’s College London and is currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. She is editor at Asymptote Journal, E Ratio Poetry Journal, and The Oxford Review of Books.
Adam J. Sorkin has published 60 books of Romanian poetry in English translation and won the Poetry Society (UK), Kenneth Rexroth, Ioan Flora, and Poesis Translation Prizes, among others. Most recently Sorkin published The Barbarians’ Return by Mircea Dinescu (translated with Lidia Vianu, Bloodaxe). His versions of Emilian Galaicu-Păun won 2nd prize in the 2018 John Dryden Translation Competition.