February 5, 2011

The Unwords, by Nichita Stanescu

He offered me a leaf like a hand with fingers.
I offered him a hand like a leaf with teeth.
He offered me a branch like an arm.
I offered him my arm like a branch.
He has leaned his trunk towards me
like an apple-tree.
I leaned my shoulder to him
like a gnarled trunk.
I heard its sap beating, quicken and quicken
like blood.
He heard my blood rising like sap, slacken and slacken.
I passed through him.
He passed through myself.
I remained a Solitary Tree.
a Lonely Man.

leaf, hand, wind, unwords

Nichita Stanescu (1933 - 1983) was a Romanian poet and essayist, who was nominated in 1979 for Nobel Prize for Literature for his contemporary (post-war) poetry works. As he defined in his Poetry / Poezia:  "Poetry is not tears, it is the act of weeping  / Poezia nu este lacrima, ea este insusi plansul"

His Inspiration was defined by himself in one of his thoughts (10th) as:
"Inspiration is the foundation of arts, in general speaking. It is like the electrical impulse which starting the thunder between two poles. When tension is created between the two poles, the thunder appears. Without thunder can not exist thunder."
"Inspiratia este fundamentul artelor, in genere. Ea este exact ca impulsul electric care starneste fulgerul intre doi poli. In momentul in care tensiunea intre doi poli se creeaza, fulgerul apare. Fara fulger nu poate sa existe fulger."

apple flowers His extensive opera was based on words usage as symbols or objects (he studied linguistics and literature.)  He likes to pun Romanian language, following his logic and his thoughts- perhaps his poems are best understood through knowledge of Romania, but I always liked to go through his verses and his reflections which deserve to be known worldwide.

"Wonder stops time, and normality, to the contrary, releases it.  Time is, in fact, light.  In this respect, the smallest unit of time is the photon.
Mirarea opreste timpul, iar firescul, dimpotriva, il declanseaza. Timpul este de fapt lumina. In acest sens, unitatea cea mai mica de timp este fotonul."
  Time as Light/ Timpul ca lumina  

I wish to mention some of the books written during his life: "The Aim of Love / Sensul iubirii" , "A Vision of Feelings/ O viziune a sentimentelor",  "The Right to Time/ Dreptul la timp" , "The Unwords / Necuvintele",  "A Land Called Romania / Un pamant numit România" "Imperfect Works / Opere imperfecte", "Knots and Marks/ Noduri si semne"

During his entire life, he tried to reach "The New Frontier of the Human Spirit / Noua frontiera a sufletului uman", describing in details his  "Longings toward the Usual/ Tanjiri spre firesc " (a posthumous volumes).

 blooming apple trees

 blooming apple branch
"Existence itself, as light’s sleep, offers evidence of its own discontinuity, that is, of time. In this respect one can consider existence as a quanta of time.
Însasi existenta, ca somn al luminii, face evidenta discontinuitatea acesteia si deci a timpului. In acest sens putem sa socotim existenta ca pe o cuanta de timp.
" Time as Light/ Timpul ca lumina

The Romanian version of  "The Unwords" poem is:


El a intins spre mine o frunza ca o mana cu degete.
Eu am intins spre el o mana ca o frunza cu dinti.
El a intins spre mine o ramura ca un brat.
Eu am intins spre el bratul ca o ramura.
El si-a inclinat spre mine trunchiul
ca un mar.
Eu mi-am inclinat spre el umarul
ca un trunchi noduros.
Auzeam cum se-nteteste seva lui batand
ca sangele.
Auzeam cum se incetineste sangele meu suind ca seva.
Eu am trecut prin el.
El a trecut prin mine.
Eu am ramas un pom singur.
Un om singur.

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