Ana Blandiana – Hotarul

I ran across a poem today by Ana Blandiana, entitled Hotarul.  It’s written in Romanian, but a Google translation to English, while rough, gave me enough context to attempt a better translation.  I think it’s really beautiful.  I’ll post my translation first, followed by the original in Romanian.  “Hotarul” translates to “Boundary.”



I am searching for the beginnings of evil
As in childhood I sought out the rain’s edge.
Running with abandon to find the
Place where
I might lay on the ground and ponder the
Rainfall on one side and not the other
The drops slowly subsiding as
I discerned the boundary
And increasing again before
I saw clearly.
I grew up for nothing.
With all that I am
I run to discover the place where
I might lay on the ground and ponder the
Brink of good and evil.
Yet evil always ceases before
I discern the boundary
And builds again, before
I can place the good.
I am searching for the beginnings of evil
In this land
Overcast and sunlit,
Step by step.

– Ana Blandiana

Here’s the original.


Caut începutului raului
Cum cautam în copilarie marginile ploii.
Alergam din toate puterile sa gasesc
Locul în care
Sa ma asez pe pamânt sa contemplu
De-o parte ploaia, de-o parte neploaia.
Dar întotdeauna ploaia-nceta înainte
De a-i descoperi hotarele
Si reîncepea înainte
De-a sti pâna unde-i seninul.
Degeaba am crescut.
Din toate puterile
Alerg si acum sa gasesc locul unde
Sa ma asez pe pamânt sa contemplu
Linia care desparte raul de bine.
Dar întotdeanuna raul înceteaza-nainte
De a-i descoperi hotarul
Si reîncepe-nainte
De-a sti pâna unde e binele.
Eu caut începutul raului
Pe acest pamânt
Înnorat si-nsorit
Rând pe rând.

– Ana Blandiana


Pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning.  🙂  Lowercase Noises’ “Ambient Songs” is a great album to translate to.

Art Life Musings


Your imprint lingers
October, oh October
Crisp air, crunching leaves

Art Reading

The Grain of Sound

Here’s a poem I read yesterday that reminded me of Ron Block, the banjo player for Alison Krauss and Union Station and a frequent poster / commentator over at The Rabbit Room. Thought I’d share:

The Grain of Sound

A banjo maker in the mountains,
when looking out for wood to carve
an instrument, will walk among
the trees and knock on trunks. He’ll hit
the bark and listen for a note.
A hickory makes the brightest sound;
the poplar has a mellow ease.
But only straightest grain will keep
the purity of tone, the sought-
for depth that makes the licks sparkle.
A banjo has a shining shiver.
Its twangs will glitter like the light
on splashing water, even though
its face is just a drum of hide
of cow, or cat, or even skunk.
The hide will magnify the note,
the sad of honest pain, the chill
blood-song, lament, confession, haunt,
as tree will sing again from root
and vein and sap and twig in wind
and cat will moan as hand plucks nerve,
picks bone and skin and gut and pricks
the heart as blood will answer blood
and love begins to knock along the grain.

Robert Morgan