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Added by TheSeaGirl on 17 Oct 2012 04:01
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Poems by George Bacovia

The coffins of lead were lying sound asleep,
And the lead flowers and the funeral clothes -
I stood alone in the vault ... and there was wind ...
And the wreaths of lead creaked.

Upturned my lead beloved lay asleep
On the lead flower ... and I began to call -
I stood alone by the corpse ... and it was cold ...
And the wings of lead drooped.

A gunshot's powerful report
Cracks from the fringes of the town;
The metal sound of trumpeters
Down at the barracks ... it is autumn.
A school bell also can be heard,
In the morning it's deserted, windy;
Papers and leaves wheel round the square
In dizzy spins, haphazardly.

With a stern, overbearing spire,
The cathedral looks to the horizon;
The town gardens are in tears
And shed their leaves throughout the town.

And, as in times of old, a horn
Comes from the fringes in alarm,
The metal sound of trumpeters
Down at the barracks ... it is autumn.


Autumn has screamed with a sad tone,
Carelessly falls the vision,
The wind batters panelling,
Coopery in barrels emptily banging.
Leaves are piled near the door,
Ancient echoes of weeping come from afar,
Literary autumn, hoarfrost,
On the road the fleeting passage of dust.
And downcast in the decadent
Copse I have stayed alone,
And through the tangled branches have jotted down
Verses without talent.
To a Virgin

Mam'selle is forever reading,
She plays the piano, she paints -
And night after night stays awake,
Perhaps that is why she grows thin.

It's believed, and some even say -
But this is a secret kept close -
Mam'selle dreams of a poet,
Bizarre, solitary, insane.
The Ghosts

With red lanterns, yellow, green
The ghosts pass at night over fields of grain
And the dogs bark on in the night at the fields -
The ghosts have entered the loft of an inn,
And the loft is seen to be queerly lit
By red lanterns, yellow, green.

The ghosts have returned to the loft to retrieve
Pledges left long ago in their lives ...
So goes a story that now I've forgotten
That at night, in the inn, there appear silhouettes
With red lanterns, yellow, green.

But when the cock crows toward daybreak, a pack
Of ghosts tumbles suddenly out of the loft,
And across the fields, and in chaos is lost
Red, yellow and green.
Violet Dusk

Autumn dusk, violet ...
Two poplars, in the background, in silhouette:
-Apolstoles in vestments of violet -
The whole town violet.

Autumn dusk, violet ...
Lazy, frivolous people in the street;
The whole crowd looks violet,
The whole town violet.

Autumn dusk, violet ...
From the tower, war-lords in the plain, long-haired;
Forefathers pass in troupes of violet,
The whole town violet.

The crackling of fine leaves,
Chill shadow in the resonant forest -
A silent, maybe grim astonishment,
Autumn's dance-like giddiness.

A chaos wants to guide me, forgetting
Both singularity and number.
A dry crackle dries me out,
I weep against a tree as on a shoulder.

And a light rain sizzles
Over the gorges, the dry
Forest - the ancient cavern ...
And the darkened horizon ...

I'm near a broken fence,
And the wind is beating with wet
Leaves. I'm uglier, wasted.
The cold sweats on the glass.

On the street that slopes downhill
It's an autumn like an old poem -
Women's skirts pushed by the wind, I can
No longer be a couple with one of them.

Autumn tears posters and flowers,
It's sadder still far off in ravines -
Light the fire several times a day;
Oh, it must be sadder still far off in ravines ...
Flakes of snow wandering ...

A cup of black coffee ... and an icy rain,
While still in the room the spirit is burning
Colours - a glanse at a book, at my clothes,
And my steps lead me out into morning.

How the cold, shivering like the news,
Groans over what's mine and what's yours ...
More and more I am left with what is,
And it's raining, raining repentance.

I forget if I walk ... I am still in love ...
I've got there in time, and there's somewhere to sit.
But thought presses down with its heavy block ...
There's only vision ... I can no longer talk ...
Spring Notes

Fresh green, fresh green ...
Bud white and pink and pure,
Dream of blue and of azure,
I see you, hear you again!

Oh sun, sun,
Inject with your flames
My whole body aching
In the play of the times.

On a willow flute, a young
Girl resting at the well
Echoes you
Over the clear plain ...

Fresh green, fresh green ...
Bud white and pink and pure,
I see you, hear you again,
Dream of blue and of azure.

"Bacovia's poem are too valuable not to be shared by readers of English. His Romanian-ness has something in common with Varlaine's Frenchness, or the English-ness of Larkin, or Betjeman; it is what most people value as the special and inseparable relationship between a poet and his native language and culture.
Bacovia has uniquely created a world - strangely coloured, damp, bitter, yet for all his melancholy, sanely and toughly observed - and a voice which is memorable and true."

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