Marin Sorescu

M
Marin Sorescu
Pure Conversation with a Chinese Character
I.
I’m trying to spell out a state of amazement,
A sweet dilation, the sway of spirit,
That only finds room in your shape.
They say that
Transposed in our alphabet
A Chinese sentence can turn into
A series of one and the same conjunction.
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Getting Used to Your Name
After you’ve learned to walk,
Tell one thing from another,
Your first care as a child
Is to get used to your name.
What is it?
They keep asking you.
You hesitate, stammer,
And when you start to give a fluent answer
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Paintings
All the museums are afraid of me,
Because each time I spend a whole day
In front of a painting
The next day they announce
The painting’s disappeared.

Every night I’m caught stealing
In another part of the world,
But I don’t even care
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Prayer
Oh you saints,
Let me enter your society,
If only as a statistician.

You’re old,
Perhaps the years are
Getting you down by now,
Laying themselves over you
In layers of color.
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Destiny
The chicken I bought last night,
Frozen,
Returned to life,
Laid the biggest egg in the world,
And was awarded the Nobel Prize.

The phenomenal egg
Was passed from hand to hand,
In a few weeks had gone all round the earth,
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Fountains in the sea
Water: no matter how much, there is still not enough.
Cunning life keeps asking for more and then a drop more.
Our ankles are weighted with lead, we delve under the wave.
We bend to our spades, we survive the force of the gusher.

Our bodies fountain with sweat in the deeps of the sea,
Our forehead aches and holds like a sunken prow.
We are out of breath, divining the heart of the geyser,
Constellations are bobbing like corks above on the swell.
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Perpetuum Mobile
Between people’s
ideals
and their realization
there is always
a greater drop
than in the highest
of waterfalls.

This potential gradient
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The Sea Shell
I have hidden inside a sea shell
but forgotten in which.

Now daily I dive,
filtering the sea through my fingers,
to find myself.
Sometimes I think
a giant fish has swallowed me.
Looking for it everywhere I want to make sure
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To the Sea
I go again to the sea and converse with Ovid
whose verses like the Romanian coast roll along
so wide and subdued: waves that wait for the ice to break.

My poet, you that make what I sing to thousand years old,
ancient boundary stone on the edge of the Romanian language,
you the gulls have elected on to the governing board of our
epics,
of our song-grief you turned into Latin and gave
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