Sunday, 13 July 2008

a blank poem

a blank field. a blank piece of paper. and then the snow becoming blue. the blue becoming black. burned out snow, burned out thoughts growing out of wounds. where it should have been fresh grass, the resplendent pulse of the ashes. if it be my thought, if it be my wound, if it be my black. if it be my blank poem.

Poate că spre tine-ndreptasem acest gând
devenit cuvânt
Poate că spre tine-ndreptasem acest cuvânt
devenit sânge
Poate că spre tine-ndreptasem acest sânge
devenit făptură
Poate că spre tine-ndreptasem
această iubire şi ură
Poate că spre tine-ndreptasem
această nefiinţă
pe care tu ai primit-o
şi tăcând zâmbind şi privind
ai învăţat-o să tacă
(deci să strige)
să zâmbească
(deci să plângă)
să privească
(deci să uite)
poate că tu eşti viaţa ei
(de vreme ce-i eşti
moartea uitării).

Miron Radu Paraschivescu
Poem alb

Perhaps it was towards you that I had directed this thought
that turned into a word
Perhaps it was towards you that I had directed this word
that turned into blood
Perhaps it was towards you that I had directed this blood
turned into a creature
Perhaps it was towards you that I had directed
this love and hate
Perhaps it was towards you that I had directed
this non-being
which you accepted
and keeping silent smiling and watching
you taught it to keep silent
(that is to yell)
to smile
(that is to cry)
to watch
(that is to forget)
Perhaps you are its life
(since you are to it
the death of oblivion).

A Blank Poem, trans. by Dan Dutescu)


  1. your images always bring me joy, yet the words always bring me sadness.

  2. snow you say? i thought of paddy fields at dawn
    there is a quality of emptiness in this picture. that is hard to achieve

  3. shall I skip the words then, lotus? :-) but maybe it is only at this point of extreme tension between joy and sorrow that the soul is truly open to the world.

  4. I say "snow", but don't forget, zuma, beauty is not always truth :-P [in this case it happens to be snow, but it could have easily been something else, kubla is right, pictures are "lies" - I say "dreams", but some people don't see, or don't care about the difference]
    yes I know that it is hard to achieve, the hardest. still, I long for it. this quality of emptiness. I am so thankful you saw this.

  5. Your blog has a black background. i was wondering whether you ever thought of a lighter background......just white?

  6. hi kubla, I gather you don't like it? but it is black because of the pictures, I think it is better to look at pictures on a black background, one can see the contrast better and the fine nuances and tones seem more alive. for me at least.

  7. But, Roxana, aren't some dreams lies after all? Is that now how the moderns speak? But even if that is so, is it not also the case that some dreams are beyond the "distinction" of lies and the truth? Not just the longing for it that makes it real, but that it came to us, from nowhere, out of the blue?

    And didn't your Descartes say: the infinite is "placed" in us..and I think of a gentle hand that places it there, like a rose in a mirror.

    I do wish you wouldn't say you long for emptiness! :-) Are there not green waters beyond the black (I think this is an old German theme-and you should know!). Never forget the colours!

    but okay, since you say so...have your empty space! Just bring some tea and cakes with you...

    The most beautiful is the object
    which does not exist....
    neither blindness
    nor death can take away the object
    which does not exist.
    mark the place
    where stood the object
    which does not exist
    it will be a simple dirge
    for the beautiful absence...

    Now all space swells like an ocean
    a hurricane beats
    on the black sail..
    now you have empty space
    more beautiful than the object
    more beautiful than the place it leaves
    it is the pre-world
    a white paradise
    of all possibilities
    you may enter there
    cry out vertical-horizontal
    perpendicular lightning strikes the naked horizon....

    Obey the counsels
    of the inner eye
    do not yield
    to murmurs mutterings smackings
    it is the uncreated world
    crowding before the gates of your canvas
    obey the counsels of the inner eye
    admit no-one
    from the shadows of the object
    which does not exist
    from polar space
    from the stern reveries of the inner eye
    a chair.
    beautiful and useless
    like a cathedral in the wilderness.

    Place on the chair a crumpled tablecloth
    add to the idea of order
    the idea of adventure
    let it be a confession of faith
    before the vertical struggling with the horizontal
    let it be quieter than angels
    prouder than kings
    more substantial than a whale
    let it have the face of lost things.
    we ask reveal o chair
    the depths of the inner eye
    the iris of necessity
    the pupil of death.


  8. Perhaps. Always perhaps... The doubt is part of our lifes and also part of the love.
    The Gods, mercifuls, decided that Orpheus can regain Eurydice, can bring her from Hades to the surface, in his world (again), if he will not look on backwards. Orfeu failed: in front of the gates of Tartarus he look behind to see her and Euridice vanished. So say the legend.
    But a question may appear: it isn't another way to say that Orpheus has nothing back, any Eurydice? He carry away only his wish for her presence and his love for her. This trial is probable his mood to refuse her absence. The impossibility to accept her absence. Eurydice will never be with him and it is easy to remain in a gentle uncertainty :) than in a tough certitude.
    so, forever perhaps :). and never look behind: it hurts.

    but this poem is beautiful . that is a certitude. :)

  9. It's lovely - and you're right it's abstract enough to be anything.

    I'm sorry have been missing from the comments but work is killing me :( Is there an address I can mail you at?

    Also, agree with you about the black background!

  10. Perhaps Anonymous should start his/her blog?

    btw roxana, i have nothing against black. it is one of my preferred colours. but you know better.white........didn't MELVILLE describe it so well?

  11. as you yourself said: "the snow always gathers around the word, not only in winter..."

  12. anonymous, first anonymous, hi
    the poem you gave me is so beautiful that I am speechless. forgive me...

  13. anonymous, second anonymous, hi and yes. but the lines that trouble me most in Rilkes poem about Eurydice are these:

    And when suddenly
    the god stopped her and, with anguish in his cry,
    uttered the words: ‘He has turned round’ –
    she comprehended nothing and said softly: ‘Who?’

    the certitude and horror of this 'who?'...

  14. szerelem, I'm grateful every time you comment, but don't worry, I know how tough work can get :-(, you can find it in my profile also :-)

  15. oh ffflaneur, you remembered...

  16. kubla, maybe I should create a poll to see what the other readers think. szerelem is already on my side:-)
    but no, it stays black also because antonia said once my night-world was the complement of her world of white, light and soft greys :-)

  17. 'he has turn round' - back in hades again! :)

    'with mournful look, the god of messages
    turned, silently, to follow the figure
    already walking back by that same path,
    her steps confined by the long grave-cloths,
    uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.'

    'walking back by that same path' is possible perhaps in underworld/inferno. not at the surface, among mortals.
    'one cannot step in the same river twice' -- Heraclitus
    to turn round is another way to go forward. 'to turn round' is a memory trick.

  18. oh, another comment, another mistake. to remain silently is better. the same anonymous, another anonymous, yet an anonymous, second anonymous, forever an anonymous.