Thursday, October 6, 2016

Be astonished -- National Poetry Day (British)

Today I celebrate British partnership with Romanian poetry!
     One of the internet treasures I have found is to Contemporary Literature Press, the online publishing house at the University of Bucharest which offers bilingual (Romanian and English) presentations of both classical and contemporary work.  The creators say this about themselves:

The Contemporary Literature Press, under The University of Bucharest,
in conjunction with The British Council, The Romanian Cultural Institute, 
and The Embassy of Ireland.
We publish poetry, fiction, drama and criticism, in the original and in translation, 
whether English or Romanian.
We are a well-fused group of staff and graduate students, 
very enthusiastic about our work.

     This particular link from Contemporary Literature Press celebrates British-Romanian week and includes a poem with a bit of mathematics by Australian-born, London-resident poet Katherine Gallagher; I offer it here and invite you also to visit its Romanian translation.

     Take-Off     by Katherine Gallagher
                 (after a line by Derek Walcott)
     Have you seen the way the day grows
     around you, neither perpendicular
     nor horizontal—  

     open to whims, new currents,
     the sky inviting banks of cloud,
     stubborn vaults of air?

     How it keeps you balancing 
     like that angel on a pinhead, 
     your feet facing all ways into the poem!

     You follow it, you're the wind, a gale,
     path escalating—you're sure
     the day has you in its sights.

     And you welcome it, ready
     to be astonished.

My own visits to Romania have led me also to enjoy the work of Romanian poets -- and here is a link to some samples of their work.  Readers interested in finding more are encouraged to use the SEARCH feature.

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