Latest news (Ultima ora) by Ion Minulescu

The circus . . .
A mundane incident–
One acrobat,
A deadly jump,
And . . .
The acrobat did not wake up . . .

The orchestra brasses all stopped,
The clowns in the arena screamed . . .
But people in the stalls never believed
A real accident had been
And they all clapped . . .
In vain–
The dead did not get up . . .

A pity too! . . .
This had been such a good-looking acrobat,
All body, a tattoo,
Who amazed the viewers each night
When coiling like a circle,
Or spinning on the bar up high
Like a coffee grinder handle,
The ballet dancer nearby! . . .

But
The ballet dancer did not love our acrobat! . . .

The story?
Right! . . .
The same as mine,
The same as yours
And of many others! . . .

A circus accident, mundane . . .
Break for a day
And then again,
The ballet dancer on the side the same,
Another acrobat . . .
Another deadly jump! . . .

(Translated and adapted from Romanian by Lori Tiron-Pandit.)

This poem in Romanian is a little bit male-centric–the acrobat is clearly identified as a man and the ballet dancer is a ballerina. This sort of writing is not something I usually favor on my website, but unfortunately for centuries men have been the ones with the resources and the support to create beauty in the world, so most of our cultural gems are male-centric. We cannot ignore them all. In this case, I assumed that the writer (a man) simply wrote, like we all do, from personal perspective, not from a biased point of view. I took the liberty of adapting the text a bit so that the message is more generic in terms of gender, for the benefit of my readers, who I believe will appreciate it.

One thought on “Latest news (Ultima ora) by Ion Minulescu

  1. I love this translation – “this had been such a good looking acrobat” – what a line! Your presence is very strong in this translation, I think; you make the poem your own – and for that it is wonderful!
    And the colours in the photograph are amazing – it’s like an underwater shot in a sun-flooded reef. Wow!

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