Tuesday, 3 February 2009

the time of snows

timpul zăpezilor - un fel de a spune
că revezi o faţă,pe care n-ai mai privit-o demult,
şi umbli spre ea prin zăpadă - scriind urme
într-un timp, trecut de acum, unde n-ai mai fost. şi e mult

coborâtă în iarna mată, îngropată în tăcere,
această fiinţă. şi întoarcerea către ea
e ca o înmormântare de viking, împingând greu acea
corabie, care prin zăpadă are o altă putere

a răsfrângrii din ape verzui - şi care apoi
se înalţă în flacără, repede acoperită, cu o rună
de fum - ca acum când mergi spre faţa ei, cu ciudată

lumină moartă. de aici, te întorci înapoi
şi neadevărurile se aşează, fiecare o urmă
a gesturilor care s-au scris - şi faţa ei e bătrână.

Mircea Ivănescu (Vremea zăpezilor)

the time of snows – one way of saying
that you see a face again,
which you haven't seen
for a long time,
and you move towards it through snow –

inscribing tracks
in a time in which you were not. and it's a long time.

plunged into matte winter, buried in silence, this being.
and the return to it
is like a viking burial,
struggling to push out
that ship, which through snow
has a
different power of refraction in greenish waters

– and which then
towers in flame, quickly engulfed, with a rune of smoke –
as now, when you walk toward
her face,
with a strange
dead light.

hence, you turn back
and the non-truths settle,
each a trace
of the gestures that were written –
and her
face is old.


  1. "plunged into matte winter, buried in silence, this being.
    and the return to it is like a viking burial,
    struggling to push out that ship, which through snow
    has a different power of refraction"

    its trembling the white, all into me.

    you know the rest!

  2. oh but i'm liking this first picture. it immediately reminded me of pictures i'd seen in the national art club's 1902 photo-secession exhibion - either steiglitz' spring showers or steichen's the pool (shame i can't find a link for either!)

    the same haunted feel

  3. The 3rd photo, I love. Indeed all your photography is wonderfully evocative.

  4. Love this poem.

    (its stir something sleeping inside - like a ghost of a memory long forgotten. mornings in the winter mist are sometimes like that too)

  5. I love the first picture also, so defined yet with a soft haze.

  6. mansuetude, I like to think of you this way, all covered in white, the white melting into you...

  7. ha swiss, what a compliment! :-)

  8. thank you for your visit, merc, and for the nice words. hope to see you again, what does 'merc' actually mean?

  9. oh Zuma, yes, and you express it so beautifully...
    I like his poetry because of many reasons, but one of them is this obsession with the snow and the silence.

    (but you don't have mornings in the winter mist over there, do you? one thing India cannot offer. even if I saw the most wonderful mist landscapes in the pictures someone I know took in India last year. now I have grown nostalgic, I have to look at those images again)

  10. thank you sorlil, soft haze is definitely something I would die for :-)

  11. oh my god. These are just gorgeous...I love how the first picture seems to take form from a blur of white from top to bottom...

  12. Unbelievably beautiful --- like the moment when one starts to remember that the earth is real, after years spent in dreams....

  13. there's heavy mist in the winter mornings in the northern plains ; but no snow unfortunately. you get snow only in the mountains and some of the high valleys of the himalayas. Sometimes the snow comes in one of the lower and more accessible hill stations, and then the people flock there, with their eyes big with wonder and skipping like little children.

  14. Roxana, hi.

    we were left adrift for a while by snows migrating from Russia. this is the season of whiteness.your last picture in this post is my latest favorite, it evokes what the saddest lines fail to do. after all, we are here to gather sadness, isn't it?

  15. James

    how good to read you again.

  16. nonono zuma, don't tell me about all this, I will die for not being able to photograph such wonders...

  17. Merc is short for Mercurius, the daemon, and is my real life nickname.
    Mercurius is a trickster, shapeshifter, healer, harbinger of change...
    I wrote a little book on how knowing merc has affected me.

  18. kubla, hi

    yes, there must be something like the Russian snow, as there is something like a Russian life, billoo hast just given me these lines (I know your love for the Russians, that's why I am quoting): "They lived a Russian life, a rich life, interwoven, in which the misfortune of one, a failure, an illness, would stagger them all. It was like a garment, this life. Its beauty was outside, its warmth within" (Salter).

    to 'gather sadness' is a beautiful phrase. I can almost see the gesture of the imaginary hand closing upon sadness.

  19. oh, you wrote a book about Mercurius, do you have excerpts on your blog? I have been busy today, but I will come to read you soon.

    Of course I know who or what Mercurius is. One chapter of my book on Bachelard is about alchemy, so I read a few books on this topic, and the importance of Hermes/Mercurius is something one really has to deal with. And recently I have stumbled upon him again, as an astrologer friend of mine analysed my Mercury in Cancer, and the conclusion was: floating between dream and reality, often inability to distinguish between the two. HA, nothing new :-)

  20. Yes some on LIAS, some from my other books. Weirdly I was nicknamed merc before I met Mercurius...
    Merc is also short for mercenary, and I was often called Murky, as in obscure, dark. Then there is mercy.
    My natal and solar charts are quite loaded.
    My first published book is called Imago.

  21. that white wintry wood is oozing such serene majesty ...