Ileana Mălăncioiu--Romanian

 

       

Ileana Mălăncioiu
(1940-    )

 

Ileana Mălăncioiu was born in a small Romanian village in 1940.  She graduated from the University of Bucharest with a doctorate in philosophy.  She has published nine volumes of poetry to date and was awarded the Poetry Prize of the Romanian Writers Union for her collected work.  Mălăncioiu believes that poetry is a natural expression of life.  Throughout her life she has walked the tight rope between Romania’s hard core brand of Communism and the practices of Socialism.  Some critics write that her way of survival has been to take refuge in ancient history showing frequently in her work that  survival in today’s world may not be as difficult whencompared to the harsh conditions of the days of emperors and dictators.

 

Antigone

A frozen mound, white body of a dead man
fallen in hard battle and left above the Earth.
Hungry dogs come to bite the treacherous snow
and another winter comes, too, to take its bite.
Let a pure woman appear to break the command,
to wrench the forsaken body from the dogs
and hide it as a dear brother—
while those near her wash their hands of it
and allow her to be buried alive in the earth
clothed in unreal white,
for as the emperor lost his great battle
she wept and buried her frozen mound.

Translated by Daniela Gioseffi