alexandra.bolintineanu at alexandra.bolintineanu at
Sun Jan 9 23:37:43 EST 2000

Speaking of translations, I've been trying my hand at a translation
of some works by my favourite Romanian poet, Ana Blandiana (marvellous
woman), and I'd like to share this particular poem because  it really
reminds me of a certain book of DWJ's.  (Or at least that makes a
convenient excuse, anyway.)  I must say, Gili, that this brief enterprise 
has given me new dimensions of respect for the sheer teeth-pulling
difficulty of your craft.  I apologize if this posting is rather an
exercise in irrelevancy; in my defense, obscure hobbies will sneak
into other areas of one's life, ungrateful little beasts that they are.



The Stars

All the dogs in the land were faithful.
They bit only their masters' enemies,
Wore their chain elegantly, like a necklace,
(Their wives always discussed what chains would be fashionable the next 
And, habitually grave, they permitted themselves
A single whim:  howling at the moon.

(To dogs, the moon is the country where
Their ancestors were once free;
Their howl is therefore a kind of
Heroic lay.)

But he was a strange dog.
To him it seemed indecent to howl at the moon,
Because the moon was in fact his heart
Which he had to put back in his chest
Or die.

The other dogs advised him not to try.
"It's in vain," they said, "anyway
They'll find your footprints, and they'll catch you."
But he smiled, and when he left,
Sinking his feet voluptuously into the sky,
Leaving behind shining footprints, incautious ones,
He was not caught, because they could not reach
The stars--his footprints.


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