Ileana Mãlãncioiu
3 poems form "Across the Forbidden Zone"
(Peste zona interzisã, Editura Cartea Româneascã, 1979)

the tower of babel

We had devised a new means of communicating
In spite of the tongues that had got into a tangle
And we had finished erecting the tower of Babel
And it was tall and well placed and at the right angle

When I don't know how everything began to sway
And he himself thought it was high time he came round
To us up there and tangle the tongues once more
But there was nothing left to tangle he found.

For we all spoke the same tongue
I mean we would say the same thing each and all
And he quietly watched us yell out the same word
Which had absolutely no meaning at all.


i cannot complain

I cannot complain of hunger
All my food comes from heaven free
But I'm afraid for the god
That will have to feed on me.

I'm too dark and I'm too sad
And my offering might seem
Even leaner than it is
Even bitterer to him.

In a lovely poppy field
He could well my life blood pour
While my flesh could well be kept
To be shared among the poor.


prayer

Oedipus the king was led by the hand by his daughter Antigone
King Lear by Cordelia, the one chased away
From the kingdom for allegedly not loving him enough
I could lead you, father, any day

As for me, I don't know if there will be anyone
To accompany me in that hour most horrible
When everything will be hidden to my eyes
Us all I well know that it will be impossible.

O God, do not try to blind us all at once
Take only every second man and delay the end
Of the tragedy a little. Let everybody
Have someone to lead him slowly by the hand.


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