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Eleventh Elegy
poetry [ ]

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by [Nichita_Stanescu ]

2005-10-17  |     |  Submited by Axel Lenn

Eleventh Elegy

Starting the spring chores


Heart far larger than the body,
jumping everywhere at once
and crushing everywhere back,
back upon him,
like catastrophic raining lava,

you, content far larger than the shape, lo
self-knowledge, lo
why matter is painfully born from itself,
so it may perish at last.

Only he who’s self-aware may perish,
only he is born who’s witness
to himself.

I told myself I should be running,
‘fore doing it I should first
turn my soul
to my still ancestors
retreated in the towers of their bones,
just like marrow,
as things brought to an end.

I may now run, they are all within me.
I will keep on running, as only he who’s
still within
may move,
only he who’s lonely within
has company; and knows secretly hidden his heart
shall collapse harder towards her
if broken into planets, it will allow itself to be conquered
by creatures and planets,

perhaps lain shall repose under the pyramids
as if ‘hind an unfamiliar chest.

Everything’s simple, so simple no one
understands any more.

Everything’s so close, so
close, it
draws back behind the eyes
no longer to be seen.

Everything’s so perfect
in springtime,
only in surrounding myself ‘round it
I start noticing,
as if a spring of grass confessed
by words of the mouth uttering them.
confessed by heart’s mouth,
by her stone core
still within itself alike
earth’s stone
spreading all around
gravitation arms,

reaping all for itself suddenly
in so tight an embrace
motion slips between these arms.


So I’ll be running everywhere
at once,
chasing my heart
like a chariot in battle
pulled everywhere at once
by a herd of flogged horses.


I’ll keep running till advancing, running
itself eventually outrun,
and leave me far behind
like seed fruit peel,
till running
itself starts running, and stops.
I’ll then collapse like a young man
greeting his lover.


After having ensured running
outruns me,
moving within it will stand
stone still, or
rather like mercury
‘hind the glass
of a mirror,
I’ll watch myself in everything,
I will embrace myself with
everything at once,
and I’ll
be thrown back as soon as
every little thing within me
has long become things.


Here I go
being what I am
under flags of solitude, under shields of cold,
running back, towards myself,
pulling out from everywhere,
pulling away from my front,
from behind, from my right and
my left, from above and
beneath me, leaving
everywhere and giving
everywhere roots to memory:
stars – for the Heavens,
air – for earth,
twigs in leaf – for the shadows.


... strange body, asymmetrical body,
amazed at itself
with spheres present there,

astonishingly facing the sun,
waiting impatiently for the light to grow
a body of its own.


Standing your own ground
when you’re seed, when winter
liquefies its long white bones
and spring is going to rise.

Standing on your fatherland
when you’re all alone, man, when you’re haunted
with unlove,
or simply when winter
decomposes and springtime
moves the spherical space
alike your heart
from within itself to the margins.

Starting cleansed the chores
of spring,
calling seeds to be seeds,
calling earth to be earth!

But first of everything else,
we are the seeds, we are
those seen everywhere at once,
as if we were dwelling in an eye,

or in a field where no grass
but eye-sights grow – and with ourselves
at once, rough, almost metallic,
we’re mowing blades so that
they be like everything
we’re living with
and which
our heart has born.

But first of everything else,
we are the seeds preparing
to jump from ourselves into something different
much higher, into something
somehow called spring...

Being within phenomena, always
within phenomena.

Being seed and standing
your own ground.

(adapted translation Axel H. Lenn)

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