3 poems by Corina Oproae

Corina Oproae

 She died at night
 I mourned her three days,
 then I lay beside her patiently 
 waiting for her to resurrect.
 I was told 
 that someone among us,
 who was a saint,
 rose from the dead
 on the third day 
 and then ascended into heaven.
 She was a saint too, I thought,
 and while I was waiting, 
 I had a heavy heart 
 and I feared that instead of staying 
 she too would ascend 
 into heaven.
 Blue Monday
 There is a life 
 in which you take me by the hand 
 up to the front door  
 and you wait for me to come out  
 to go and live 
 as if we knew that destiny 
 will rip off the roots
 of the flowers that grow entwined   
 inside our souls 
 (what are the souls?)
 to weave wreaths  
 and lay them   
 on tombs.
 There is a life,
 the same life, 
 in which you write for me   
 all the words that I miss,
 in which you compose   
 all the songs that contain me,
 in which you paint all the paintings that shelter me,
 as if you knew that destiny   
 collects words, sounds, colours,  
 and then it scatters them   
 on tombs.
 A life in which you are rain  
 that compacts the grey until it makes sense, 
 in which I walk next to you  
 while I’m digging my tomb, 
 in a ubiquitous, 
 in a permanent act,
 which repeats itself with the certainty 
 that there is another life 
 which only lasts one day. 
 We live it, those of us who were born   
 ready to bear the pain,
 dragging it behind us until the end of the day, 
 where it ceases.
 It wouldn’t make any sense to say  
 that it is a very sad life,   
 not because it wouldn’t be poetic,
 but because it wouldn’t say anything at all  
 about the way we’re set on fire,  
 about the way we burn quietly  
 to turn into ash at the end of the day.
 And there wouldn’t be any witnesses either,  
 except at dawn, the sun on our restless feet, 
 on the hands with their incandescent wholes, 
 and the shy, crepuscular blink of our eyelids,  
 (at the end of the day) when death lurks 
 and asks if poems really make sense. 


 Because it is not yours                     
 You don’t know how to end this poem 
 because it is not yours. 
 It came to you one day 
 full of silent, weary, absent poppies.
 It perched on your eyes 
 - absent minded butterfly -
 and it dazzled you,
 but you felt its wings
 quivering, bewildered, far away.
 Today its fluttering wings light up your blindness.
 It speaks to you in a strange language  
 made of infinite silence  
 like a green wheat field  
 fast asleep in the sun.
 It confesses there are young dead 
 who can still smell the humid earth,
 dead who feel the touch of an embrace in the grass, 
 bitter-sweet happiness that throbs 
 beneath the skin of oblivion,
 the last and sacred desires of innocents  
 lost in one of many wars, 
 or an atavistic hunger that seeps down into roots  
 together with the smell of freshly-made bread. 
 It also confesses there are old dead 
 who cannot smell or remember the scents, 
 dead who have turned into matter  
 descending towards the center of the earth 
 where the life we have been  
 reduces itself to a tiny dot 
 that contains everything.
 You don’t know how to end this poem
 because it is not yours. 
 It is the poem of all those who lived  
 life and death voluptuously,
 of those who know that the tomb 
 is the only mirror that always 
 gives back the same face.
 A poem that climbs up from the bowels of the earth,
 retraces its steps and its time,
 perches on your eyes  
 —ephemeral, dazzling butterfly,
 and desperately asks you to continue it.
 (The poems belong to the book The thousand and one deaths, translated into English by Bruce Weigl and Corina Oproae
 The book was originally written in Spanish and published in 2016 at La Garúa Publishing House, Barcelona, Spain)

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CORINA OPROAE (Făgăraş, Romania, 1973) From 1998 she has been living in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. She writes in Spanish and Catalan, translates from Romanian and English into Catalan and Spanish. She has translated many Romanian writers such as Marin Sorescu, Ana Blandiana, Lucian Blaga, Pic Adrian, Norman Manea, Gellu Naum, Dinu Flamand, Ioan Es. Pop. From English, she has translated the book Red Bird, by American poet Mary Oliver. Her first poetry book is Mil y una muertes [A thousand and one death] (2016), which was translated by the poet herself into Romanian in 2018. Her second poetry book is Intermitencias [Intermittencies] (2018). Temprana eternidad [Early eternity] (2019) is a personal anthology published in Colombia. An anthology with the same title, Tidig evighet (Simon Editor, 2020) has been recently published in Swedish. Her third poetry book, Desde dónde amar [Where to love from] is currently under print. In Catalan she has written La mà que tremola [The hand that trembles] (2020).

Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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