Today’s Translation Tuesday is brought to you by MARGENTO, Asymptote Editor-at-Large for Romania and Moldova, and poet and translator Marius Surleac. As you immerse yourself in these lines, it is worth keeping in mind Florin’s unique profile and approach to creation as he combines poetry, mathematics, and Eastern Orthodox theology. There is a specific emphasis on mystical practice, particularly the kind that involves “iconic Hesychasm.” These excerpts from Florin Caragiu’s work, Mediterranean Suite, explore a sense of nostalgia, loss, and change.
Excerpts from Mediterranean Suite
It was only after long that we found the poet’s grave
In the graveyard by the sea. We barely made out
His name on the burial stone. We had passed
The spot several times
Without noticing it. Just as day after day people keep reaching
Your sight and you have no idea what they’re holding back.
Just as the blotchy calligraphic lettering
Overshadows a voice and its sharp beams
Coming out of a cloud of sea gulls, out of the lighted beacon
Piercing the sea’s costa and its coastal heart,
The wave amphitheater, and the city’s watery arteries.
Not far away, the frescoes catch in their fishing nets
The memory and the wind. Closely following behind us, the dolphins.
we travel and we change
along with the life that flows through us—
like a light beam that doesn’t leave anything
behind—we take the cedars with us,
houses of dry stone,
sculptures hibernating under cloth tarps.
opens his arms widely
in the greenhouse, behind the white armchair.
at the terraced garden’s edge
overlooking the valleys inundated by the color green
we sit by the small pool in the rock
on the rock’s soft moss
our hands getting closer together.
Translated from the Romanian by MARGENTO and Marius Surleac
Florin Caragiu is the author of several poetry collections and is a theology essayist. He is the director of Platytera Press and an editor for Sinapsa, an interdisciplinary journal. He has published a large number of poetry selections and essays in high-profile literary magazines. He regularly takes part in various radio and TV programs as a special guest. Florin is also the organizer of the Sinapsa Reading Series and Festival.
MARGENTO (Chris Tănăsescu) is a poet, performer, academic, and translator who has lectured, launched books, and performed in the US, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Europe. His pen name is also the name of his multimedia cross-artform band that won a number of major international awards. He is co-author of poetryartexchange, his co-translations with Martin Woodside from Gellu Naum’s poetry (Athanor and Other Pohems) were nominated by World Literature Today as Most Notable Translation in 2013, and he has written the libretto for a rock opera composed by Bogdan Bradu. He deploys networks-of-networks and natural-language-processing algorithms in his collaborative poetry, and continues his work on the graph poem project together with Diana Inkpen and their students at the University of Ottawa. MARGENTO is Romania & Moldova editor-at-large for Asymptote.
Marius Surleac is a poet and poetry translator. His poetry was published by international journals such as Pif Magazine, MadHat Lit, The Ilanot Review, Literary Orphans, Prick of the Spindle, and other journals. His volume of poetry, Zeppelin Jack, was released by the Herg Benet publishing house in 2011. His translation of The Propaganda Factory, or Speaking of Trees (poetry) by Marc Vincenz was published with Tracus Arte publishing house in 2015. He translates poetry by Marc Vincenz, Fady Joudah, G. C. Waldrep, and others into Romanian. His recent poetry has been published by FIVE:2:ONE and his translations by Asymptote and Solstice. You can read more about Marius’s work here.
Read more translations:
- Translation Tuesday: Excerpt from Formaldehyde by Carla Faesler
- Translation Tuesday: To a Girl Sleeping in the Street by Nazik al-Mala’ika
- Translation Tuesday: Excerpts from Tempodrome by Simona Popescu