Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mathematics in Romanian poetry

     When I first visited Romania, I met Doru Radu, then a teacher of English at Scoala Generala "Andre Muresanu" in Deva. And Doru introduced me to his favorite poet, George Bacovia (1881 - 1957). Over time, we together translated many of Bacovia's poems -- and the bilingual collection plumb de iarnă / lead of winter was published in 2002 (Ed., Gabriel Stanescu, Criterion Publishing). Recently I scrutinized that collection (no longer available in print, but here, online) to look for mathematical lines to post in this blog. Alas, Bacovia offers no more than a couple images from geometry: "alone in deserted squares" (in Pălind / Fading) and "the wide, oval mirror, framed with silver" (in Poemă în oglindă / Poem in the Mirror).
     Although Bacovia did not use mathematical imagery, a considerable number of Romanian poets do, and below I offer links to my earlier blog postings of work by Ion Barbu, Nina Cassian, Martin Sorescu, and Nichita Stanescu. Enjoy!  

By Romanian poets:

   On July 22 2010  "Another Mathematics" by Nichita Stanescu
   On October 4 2010 "The Reckoning" by Marin Sorescu  
   On January 31 2011 "The Inclined Plane by Nina Cassian
            and "Ut Algebra Poesis" by Dan Barbilian / Ion Barbu 
   On June 13 2011  "Poetic Mathematics" by Nichita Stanescu
   On September 26 2011 "Learning to Count"  by Nichita Stanescu

And a square poem about Romania by a poet from Pennsylvania:
   On June 2 2011  "The Bear Cave" by JoAnne Growney, 
        recently in Bucharest Tales  

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