Spring of Night by Lucian Blaga

My beauty,
in the evening when you hold
my head in your lap,
your dark eyes are the spring
from which night flows over valleys,
mountains and plains
to cover the world
with a sea of darkness.
So black are your eyes, my light.

translated by Andrei Codrescu

Give Me A Body, You Mountains by Lucian Blaga

I only have you, my temporary body–
I don’t adorn you with blue and yellow flowers–
your weak mud is too small for the terrible
soul I carry.

Give me a body, you mountains,
you seas,
give me a body capable of bearing
my madness in full!
Big earth, be my trunk,
be the chest for this furious heart,
be the shelter for the storms that toss me,
be the vessel of my stubborn self!

My great footsteps will then be heard
in the vast cosmos–
I will be unstoppable and free,
the way I am,
holy earth!

When I make love
I’ll stretch all my oceans to the sky,
they will be rolling, vigorous arms
to take and bend his waist,
to kiss his bright stars.

When I hate
I’ll smash under my stone feet
the poor trembling suns
and perhaps I’ll smile.

But I only have you, my temporary body.

translated  by Andrei Codrescu

A Day by Tudor Arghezi

Yesterday kept following me, all agog,
Like a starving dog,
Thinking it was leashed to my life with a belt,
With a rope or something–that is how it felt;
But reaching statues at a vacant lot
It turned back, seeing it was not.
Helpless and homeless it got lost
Though for a long time of rains and of frost
It had clung to me step by step, until today
At midday.

Whoever’s lost a day–long as his life has been–
Must seek it swiftly. Night is falling. Fog is setting in.

translated by Andrei Bantaş

Going-Back by Ion Vinea

Not today, not tomorrow: yesterday.
Where are the hours lost forever?
I long for the fading looks,
Voices call me like ghosts
Through the timeless remembrance.

I want the bleeding of the exhausted sun to come on lakes,
at sunset the buffalo bellowing,
the rustle of the gardens among the walls,
the wax fruit fragrance in the winter cellars,
the semi-darkness with perfume of camphor in the drawing room,
in the mirrors of waters of forgetfulness
and where the brother pasted away among torches.

I want the footsteps of my father climbing the stairs,
the brass gong to announce the supper,
I wish, mother, to hear my name, gentle and real,
whispered again
as it remained floating in the rubble of the thought.

I wish to close the magic in the house with the iron bar placed on the gate,
to trim in the niche the icon lamp
and alone in the dead area
Priam will bark in the night to the cold zodiac signs
until late, ominously, deserted,
while in the sheets scented with lavender water
I will fall asleep forever.

tranlated by Liviu Georgescu