Nichita Stănescu

The multitude


Knot 30



The multitude


Everyone feels confident in his own lonely solitude.

Among the self-confident loners

glasses get clinked, cheeks kissed,

flowers bestowed—

the death of a plant turns into a gift for a feast—

until I come to wonder

if on his feast day the god

will not present to his goddess my head

as a cut flower

—my death

an indelible souvenir.


                                                                        translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Anca Peiu




Tell me, if I caught you one day

and kissed you on the sole of your foot,

you’d limp a bit afterwards, wouldn’t you,

for fear you might crush my kiss?



                                                                        translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Anca Peiu


Knot 30


The sea was calm and blind,

like a child with a leucoma on his eye

who reaches out his right hand

as if he might touch



with it.

In a streak of silver, the moon had cut

the wide water in two solitudes.

Then it was that I told myself

to walk barefoot

along that dreamlike edge

toward the iris of the moon.

I began to walk barefoot

along the dazzling knife edge

when, one by one, my feet

bloodily sliced their soles on it.

I was walking on the long knife blade before me,

slowly my right leg was sliced,

slowly my left leg was sliced.

I went ahead, and then my belly, my breastbone, my windpipe

slowly were sliced in two on the edge,

my mouth, my nose, and that spot

between my eyebrows

were sliced in two.

To my right

the sea ran red from my blood,

to my left

the sea ran red from my blood.

Half of me fell to one side, cut away,

half of me fell to the other side, cut away.

The moon had vanished,

the knife had sunk,

the sea was red

and calm,


and dazzling.


                                                            translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Olimpia Iacob



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