Posts featuring Andra Rotaru

Translation Tuesday: “wrong connections” by Andra Rotaru

she sits on a tuft of grass: drying under her.

The results of our Close Approximations contest winners are in! Find the official citations as well as links to the winning entries here. For the next two months, we will spotlight these contest winners as well as their work. First up, we present an excerpt of the top entry in the poetry category. Judge Sawako Nakayasu says: “I’m thrilled to have selected this year’s winner for poetry: ‘wrong connections’ by Andra Rotaru, in Anca Roncea’s excellent translation from the Romanian. I love how this work reads like a film that can only take place in the mind of the reader. The scenes (I read them like scenes) carry you through a changing landscape that can be menacing, historical, scientific, or downright violent all in torqued connection with each other like the ‘incorrect connections’ of the tribar.”

“In the British Journal of Psychology R. Penrose published the impossible ‘tribar.’” Penrose called it a three-dimensional rectangular structure. But it is certainly not the projection of an intact spatial structure. The ‘impossible tribar’ holds together as a drawing purely and simply by means of incorrect connections between quite normal elements. The three right angles are completely normal, but they have been joined together in a false, spatially impossible way.”

—Bruno Ernst, The Magic Mirror of M. C. Escher

she sits on a tuft of grass: drying under her. even her clothes dry on her. make some wishes when throwing something in the water. rust solders iron under water, no one passes, sounds of bursts of water.


Translation Tuesday: Poems by Andra Rotaru

Searing poems by Romanian poet Andra Rotaru, translated by Florin Bican

36 days


less than 36 days since we haven’t talked to each other.

by less

than 360 degrees can the body rotate still.

and, there –

when we no longer know.


I had before my eyes the heavy skin.

it had uncovered itself thoroughly,

like some sort of shock-proof wood.

it had developed a sheen and enamel.

it had sunk deep into the earth


since the earth patch I’m standing on

has the hue of a man’s flesh

since my skin’s ever whiter


do not wake up. a man’s body is attaining perfection.

green wood turns to black wood,

the texture gets rougher.


I’d stir my hands and they’d uncover themselves

I’d press them till neither the blood nor the lymph.


then, after a lengthy detour from my own body,

they’d fill up my tissues, they’d pile up,

no induration, nor rubber wood,

but soft wood we can keep banging on.


you tell me take care what you dream.

since the earth patch I am standing on

has the hue of a man’s flesh

since my skin’s ever whiter.