Marin_SorescuWhilst in Dalles yesterday, which professes a wonderful second-hand bookshop, I stumbled upon a book of his poetry deliciously translated by various translators. Suffice to say that it's in Romanian, English and Italian, and I'm so thrilled to have found it. What a 'trouvaille'! There I was surrounded by piles of old books, the smell of musty pages in my nose.

So what can I tell you about Marin Sorescu? Well, he was born in Bulzesti in 1936, and although invited toMarin_Sorescu2 places such as Mexico to read and take part in poetry festivals, here in Romania he is known more as a playwright and his works have been performed all over the world. Like his compatriots Lucian Blaga and Eugene Ionesco, Sorescu's works usually contain paradoxes and absurd situations used as metaphors for other situations.

He has published seven volumes of poetry to date, including 'Only Between Poets', 'Poems', 'Don Juan's Youth' and others.

Marin_Sorescu3All his works are marked by irony and a humorous sense of play. He has also written for children.

In 1981 he was interviewed by 'The News' and said, 'I usually write about the solitude that exists between people and how this can be penetrated. I also write about man in relation to nature, how man has lost the meaning of nature and in fact works contrarily to his own environment.'

Asked if poetry could change this, he replied, 'poetry doesn't change anything, but it does give the illusionMarin_Sorescu4 of change, and man needs illusions.'

He added, 'I always write for myself, but there exists also the sense of writing for a larger audience. To me, writing is a way of thinking. You see things as a rational whole, and then abstract the subject by using a metaphor in order to fully explore the theme.'

Sorescu explained that there currently exists in Romania a very important avant-garde poetry movement that works in a modern spirit. There is a huge public response to this new work and it's exhibited in mass printings of volumes of verse.

'Writing is a kind of sickness', he explains. 'It's like an internal fever. There's absolutely no cure, simply because the writer would become 'normal'...and that's no way to go. It's compulsory: we must write. Poetry links interior and exterior life. It links men with that which exists within and without himself.' (extracts taken from The News, 1 Sept, 1981)

The poem below, 'Shakespeare Created The World in Seven Days', really makes me chuckle. Enjoy!

Shakespeare1Shakespeare a creat lumea în sapte zile

Shakespeare a creat lumea în sapte zile.
În prima zi a fãcut cerul, muntii si prãpãstiile
În ziua a doua a fãcut rîurile, mãrile, oceanele
Si celelalte sentimente -
Si le-a dat lui Hamlet, lui Iulius Caesar, lui Antoniu,
Cleopatrei si Ofeliei,
Lui Otello si altora,
Sã le stãpîneascã, ei si urmasii lor,
În vecii vecilor.
Shakespeare2În ziua a treia a strîns oamenii
Si i-a învãtat gusturile:
Gustul fericirii, al iubirii, al deznãdejdii,
Gustul geloziei, al gloriei si asa mai departe,
Pînã s-au terminat toate gusturile.
Atunci au sosit si niste indivizi care întîrziaserã.
Creatorul i-a mîngîiat pe cap cu compãtimire,
Si le-a spus cã nu le rãmîne decît sã se facã
Critici literari
Si sã-i conteste opera.
Ziua a patra si a cincea le-a rezervat rîsului.
A dat drumul clovnilor
Sã facã tumbe,
Si i-a lãsat pe regi, pe împarati
Si pe alti nefericiti sã se distreze.
Shakespeare3În ziua a sasea a rezolvat unele probleme
A pus la cale o furtunã,
Si l-a învãtat pe regele Lear
Cum trebuie sã poarte coroana de paie.
Mai rãmãseserã cîteva deseuri de la facerea lumii
Si l-a creat pe Richard al III-lea.
În ziua a saptea s-a uitat dacã mai are ceva de fãcut.
Directorii de teatru si umplusera pamîntul cu afise,
Si Shakespare s-a gîndit cã dupã atîta trudã
Ar merita sã vadã si el un spectacol.
Dar mai întîi, fiindcã era peste mãsurã de istovit,
S-a dus sã moarã putin.

Shakespeare4Shakespeare Created the World in Seven Days
by Marin Sorescu. Translation by Constantin Roman.

The first day he made the sky,
The mountains, and the spiritual abysses.
The second day he made the rivers, the seas
The oceans, and the sentiments
Giving them to Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Antony,
Cleopatra and Ophelia
To Othello and others
To master, they and their descendants,
Unto eternity.
The third day he gathered all people
And taught them the tastes:
The taste or happiness, of love, of distress,
The taste or jealousy, glory and more
Until all tastes had been accounted for.
Shakespeare5Then some characters came along late.
The creator patted them fondly on the head
And said the only thing left for them to become
Was literary critics
To deny his works.
The fourth and fifth days
Were dedicated to laughter.
He let out the clowns to do somersaults
And let kings, emperors
And other unfortunates have fun.
The sixth day
He solved some administrative problems
Plotted a storm
And taught King Lear
To wear the crown of straws.
There was still some waste left
From the creation of the world
So he made Richard III.
The seventh day he wondered whether
There was anything left to do:
Stage directors had already
Flooded the earth with posters
So Shakespeare decided after so much labour
He deserved to see a show himself.
But first, as. he felt quite exhausted,
He passed away for a while.

Moooorte de rire!!!