Nichita Danilov


The Twentieth Century



The Twentieth Century

I was born when God had not yet been born

and I died when God

was already dead!


The twentieth century was nearing its end.

Márquez had written One Hundred Years of Solitude,

Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra.

Man had left footprints on the moon,

dead angels were plummeting down from heaven.


On the horizon a Third World War

intruded upon my sight. Einstein had died

and God was already dead!


The end of one world was approaching its end

and there began the beginning of the one man

no one believed in any longer.

An ever bleaker wind blew through the streets,

vultures wheeled in alarming circles in the sky.

A deeper and deeper funeral knell

heralded a new beginning.





                                                                        translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Rodica Albu




A rainbow of bells: the evening

washes its wounds in the River,

the water flows red,

the water flows red

from I was to I shall be.


A rainbow of bells: the evening

drips cool chimes slowly down your cheek,

the water flows limpid,

the water flows limpid

from Yesterday to Today.


Ready yourself, soul,

it’s late, oh, it’s late!

The rainbow of bells,

the rainbow of bells

drinks our blood’s last pulse,

all our peace from the River.


A rainbow of bells: the evening

presses white soles to the window,

the water flows clouded,

the water flows clouded,

from I am to I shall have been.



                                                                        translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Cristina Cîrstea



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