Marin Sorescu

The Snail

The Expansion of the Universe


The Snail


The snail carefully seals his eyes

With wax

And tucks his chin tightly to his chest.

He stares

Into himself.


Above him

Is his shell—

His perfect creation,

Which disgusts him—


Arrayed about the shell

Is the world,

All the rest of the world,

Distributed everywhere

According to irrefutable laws,

Which disgust him—


And in the center of this

Cosmological disgust

Is himself—


Which disgusts him.



                                                translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Lidia Vianu


The Expansion of the Universe



“Peter,” says God,

“Does it ever happen to you that you do the very same thing

More than once?

For instance, I’ve created the world

A few times over,

Because I forgot I’d already created it.

It seems I get a notion to make something

Extraordinary, but then…

What was it? Hmm, what was it?

And so I slap down another world—

Not once, but again and again.”


“I’ve heard tell about parallel universes,

About the red shift and the such,”

Says Peter,

“But I’d no idea this was on purpose.”

“On purpose? Don’t be a ninny. They’re all the selfsame one

Made many times over, because I keep forgetting.


“Hey, Peter, you know what—can you give me something for the memory?”



                                                                        translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Gabriela Dragnea




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