Wednesday, 18 June 2008


Mă-nţelesesem bine cu călăul,

Execuţia trebuia să aibă loc în zori

Şi fiindcă mergeam fără împotrivire

Urma să fie aduse şi flori.

Mai urma fără-ndoială să nu se ştie

Întru cât eram vinovată

Fiindcă fusesem de acord să mor

Înainte de-a fi condamnată.

Ca să simt durerea cât mai puţin

Îşi ascuţise toată ziua cuţitele

Şi le trecea prin foc în faţa mea

Ca atunci când se înjunghie vitele.

Apoi, fiindcă nu putuse dormi,

Pentru orice fel de-ntâmplare

Se pregătise să-mi ţină tot el

O cuvântare.

În zori s-a apropiat tremurând tot,

Ţinea în mâini buchetul pregătit,

Ia florile, mi-a spus, am uitat să aduc cuţitele

Dar o să fie totuşi ca şi cum ai murit.

Ileana Mălăncioiu

I had come to a perfect understanding with the executioner
the ordeal was to take place in the small hours
and because I was going without offering resistance
there would also be flowers.

Besides the thing of course was not to be known
considering the fact that I had been found guilty we said
because I had agree to die
before the sentence was read.

So that I should suffer the least pain
all day he had whetted his knives
and was passing them through the fire before me
just like when he was about to take some oxen's life.

Then, because he could not sleep a wink
for whatever was to be
he himself had undertaken
to make the speech which was to be delivered to me.

At dawn he came along trembling in every limb
in his hands he held the nosegay neatly tied
take these flowers, he said, I forgot to bring my knives
but it will be as if you had died.

Pact (transl. by Dan Dutescu)


  1. That's a really nice poem...

  2. yes, Alina, it is. and the translation is so good, I was amazed.

  3. But isn't it the cruelest, cruelest thing for this executioner of yours to make her wait? Isn't that also a kind of death? Why didn't he kill her with one flashing plunge of the sharp knives? That would have been a supreme act of love, no? Or was he only thinking of himself?

    No "as if's". We kill the things we love.

    He shouldn't have negociated a pact. I think he will be damned to the lowest circle of hell.

  4. I really like the bottom picture, the flowers are so bright.

  5. oh anonymous, don't be so harsh on this executioner, he came trembling after all, and his night before must have surely been hell. and the night after and the night after... and you ask such difficult questions, how could I know the answer? I am not the poet ... but I am sure she wouldn't agree to his damnation to the lowest circle of the hell, and after all it is her voice that matters here, don't you think?

  6. sorlil, hi :-)
    I like them too. but white chrysanthemums mean death in Japan, even if they are so bright...

  7. But she is already dead and it is only the voice of the living that can give solace, no?

    And the night after the night was just as blank as night

    As the poet said:

    I petitioned God and he relented.
    I was granetd four moments of life.
    Two were spent in yearning and two passed in regret.

    I think the executioner will regret that his soul wasn't noble enough to kill her quickly.

    And I think she might have whispered to herself the lines my mother is very fond of:

    'In life's darkest, saddest moments
    The memory of my unfaithful friend comes to me'