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Authors: Nichita Stanescu

Wheel With a Single Spoke

BOOK: Wheel With a Single Spoke
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Nichita Stănescu

W
HEEL WITH A
S
INGLE
S
POKE

and other poems

selected and translated from
the Romanian by Sean Cotter

archipelago books

Copyright © Nichita Stănescu

English translation and afterword © Sean Cotter, 2012

First Archipelago Books Edition, 2012

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Archipelago Books
232 3rd Street #
AIII
Brooklyn, NY 11215
www.archipelagobooks.org

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Stanescu, Nichita, 1933–1983.
[Poems. English. Selections]
Wheel with a single spoke : and other poems / by Nichita Stanescu ;
selected and translated from Romanian by Sean Cotter.
p. cm.
ISBN
978-1-935744-42-9 (pbk.)
1. Stanescu, Nichita, 1933-1983 – Translations into English.
I. Cotter, Sean, 1971 – II. Title.
PC840.29.T345A2 2012
859'.134–dc23
2012006255

Distributed by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution
www.cbsd.com

cover art: Henri Michaux

The publication of
Wheel with a Single Spoke and Other Poems
was made possible with support from the Romanian Cultural Institute, Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Acknowledgments

The translator wishes to thank Luminiţa Soare, Angie Shapira, Luminiţa Lupu, and the Cambridge of Dallas Working Group for their help with this project. I am also grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts, the Romanian Cultural Institute, and the University of Texas at Dallas for their support.

Table of Contents

T
HE
S
ENSE OF
L
OVE
(
Sensul iubrii, 1960
)

The Airplane Dance

End of an Air Raid

A V
ISION OF THE
F
EELINGS
(
O viziune a sentimentelor, 1964
)

In Praise of People

Song on an Aluminum Scaffold

The Lion Cub, Love

To Peace

Sentimental Story

I Remember, Still Amazed

One Thursday, with Love

Song Without an Answer

A Poem

End of a Season

Autumn Love

T
HE
R
IGHT TO
T
IME
(
Dreptul la timp, 1965
)

The Right to Time

Bas-relief with Heroes

Enkidu

Ars Poetica

The Chariot

Savonarola

Bas-relief with Lovers

Song

[To the right, and then to the left]

To Galatea

Old Soldier's Song

Sad Love Song

To Bend the Light

II
E
LEGIES
(
11 Elegii, 1966
)

The Second Elegy, in the Style of the Getes

The Fourth Elegy

The Fifth Elegy

The Eleventh Elegy

A
LPHA
(
Alfa, 1967
)

Raid on the Interior of Stones

Surface

You Might Think I Was a Tree

A Sleep with Saws Inside

Ulysses

V
ERTICAL
R
ED
(
Ro
ş
u vertical, 1967
)

A Soldier

E
GG AND
S
PHERE
(
Oul şi sfera, 1967
)

Fate

Smelling a Flower

Winter Ritual

Medieval Letter

Invocation

Eye Snow

Angel Holding a Book

Transparent Wings

The Young

President Baudelaire

L
AUS
P
TOLEMAEI
(
Laus Ptolemaei, 1968
)

The Atmosphere

Reading

On Contemplative Beings, What They Say, and Some Advice I Would Give Them

A Few General Statements on Speed

On the Life of Ptolemy

On the Death of Ptolemy

Field

An Argument with Euclid

U
NWORDS
(
Necuvintele, 1969
)

Paean

Loss of an Eye

Jacob Battles the Angel; Or, On the Idea of “You”

The Battle Against Five Antiterrestrial Elements

The Heart's Battle Against Blood

[I slept with all my bones along a sword blade]

Sleeping and Waking

Decree

[The beating moon inches across the roof of the mouth]

Mime

Poetry

Song of Three

Laughs and Tears

Murderous Memory

It Was Crushed Music

I'm So Tired I Can't Go On, He Said

Brusque Speech

You Leave Your Scent

[You leave the air with your scent]

The Jester and Death

Contemplation

Pulse

Law

Ode to Joy

Undeciphered Inscription

Where They Go

Scent on a High Hill

The Sacrifice and Burning of Everything

What Is Life? When Does It Start, and Where Is It Going?

Noose

What Is the Supreme Power That Drives the Universe and Creates Life?

What Is a Human? What Are His Origins? What Fate Awaits Him?

The One Who Eats Dragonflies

Who Am I? What Is My Place in the Cosmos?

Atavistic Melancholy

Idols of the Grass

Fruits Before Being Eaten

Air Currents

Tragedies in Peacetime

Ars Poetica

Song

Self-Portrait in an Autumn Leaf

Time

Passage . . .

Mirage

So I'll Stay

I, That Is, He

Poem

What?

Game Delay

Tennis

Unwords

A L
AND
C
ALLED
R
OMANIA
(
Un pământ numit România, 1969
)

Cain and Abel

D
OLCE STIL CLASSICO
(
În dulcele stil clasic, 1970
)

Loss of Consciousness Through Cognition

Soul of Mine, Psyche

Myth

B
ELGRADE IN
F
IVE
F
RIENDS
(
Belgradul în cinci prieteni, 1972
)

To Buy a Dog

Vitrification

Fear

Eye Depth

Fading

Signal

A Poet, Like a Soldier

While

Ritual

Way of Speaking

Carriage for a Butterfly

Little Colored Glasses

On the Thickest

Drawing Lots

Dialogue Between a Horse and the Good Lord

Serbs

Song to Encourage the God Andia

[The dogs of your father barked]

[Inside me screams my heart]

[What kind of freight train are you]

Bloodmobile

Eminescu

Cold Balance of the Stars

Letter

G
RANDEUR OF THE
C
OLD
(
Măreţia frigului, 1972
)

Transformation

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0

Beauty-Sick

Ars Amandi

And If

E
PICA
M
AGNA
(
Epica magna, 1978
)

Paean

Wheel with a Single Spoke

Soldier Oedipus

Self-Portrait

Eye Squared

Oration

Forward Movement

To Feed Me from Your Hand

Haiku

Another Haiku

Tableau with Blind People

Wedding Toast

I
MPERFECT
W
ORKS
(
Operele imperfecte, 1979
)

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