Aura Christi

As editor-in-chief of the Romanian cultural magazine Contemporanul, Aura Christi has gained recognition as both a journalist and a world-class poetess. Now in her late 30s, Christi has been evolving as a storyteller for two decades, publishing more than ten collections of poetry, and successfully dabbling in prose as well. Christi earned her degree in journalism in Basarabia in 1990, and moved shortly after to Bucharest, where she started working as an editor at Contemporanul, becoming editor-in-chief in 2002.
Her work has caught the eye of many literary critics and has gained national acclaim. "Aura Christi approaches serious and eternal poetic themes dead on, with the knowledge that she has acquired the experience, the depth and the authenticity needed to successfully complete this attempt," says literary critic Ioan Es. Pop.
Christi has been awarded prestigious prizes, including the Ministry of Culture prize in 1993 for De partea cealalta a umbrei and the Writer's Union prize in 1996 for her collection Nu ma atinge. Her poetry is now reaching international audiences, having been translated into English, French and German.

L'utopie tremblante

(...) Je crois. Je le confesse. Dans l'effroi et le tremblement je demande:
Mon Père, Qui es aux cieux,
qui suis-je, pour que tu m'aies donné la force quotidienne
d'écouter les discours amoureux du Vide, du Rien;
qui suis-je pour regarder alentour avec un millier d'yeux à la fois,
attendant les messagers des erreurs, des infamies, des confusions
arrivées aux cieux et sur les terres qui pardonnent tout ;
qui suis-je, de quel royaume m'as-tu amenée jusqu'ici ? Quelle est ma quête ici?
Et pourquoi m'emplissent de volupté les ténèbres, le froid, l'insomnie, la mort?
- animal blessé, grave, grandissant à mesure que les années passent, miracle tremblant, utopie, perdue dans le tremblement, reconquise dans le tremblement.
[Translated from Romanian by Odile Serre and Alain Paruit]

Cum te presimt...

Cum te presimt in negrul ecou al noptii!
Calm ma indruma un vuiet afund -
porumbel pe varful picioruselor venit
inspre abia deslusitele culmi;
gheizer puternic si'nalt
- ca din senin - din trecatorul
meu trup tasnit.

Diamant slefuit de un mester care
isi schimba secunda de secunda numele,
ramanand de negasit; piatra rara,
mutata dintr-un loc in altul...
Eu nu vad decat o aura
pe care nu pot s-o prind,
s-o gust, s-o descriu, s-o alint!

Si ma leg de neputinta aceasta
- nu ma limiteaza nici o speranta! -
si desenez imprejuru-i extatic inele,
si dansez, si cant
in cea mai luminata disperare.
Ce mare, Doamne, poate fi timpul
si fiinta ce ne-asteapta - liman rasgandit

si neincaput de nici o lacrima,
de nici o durere, senin indrumata
de-o mana straina spre matca marelui cantec!
Clinchet visceral de zale;
ecou luminat al uriaselor nopti pribege
ce-si inalta tronul in sufletul meu
pentru ca sa ma adune si
inca o data sa ma inchege!

Parfum cules din aburul zorilor de zi.
Luciu al plumbului abia topit in cuptoare,
nectar razboinic, intregindu-mi duhul
pregatit sa pluteasca peste
luminate abisuri si dramuind
esente ascunse, tarii, valtori
pentru alte tinuturi, alte creste.
[Originally published in the December edition of Contemporanul]

Far Away

Who would've had so much darkness
To be, to have been said ?
Who sees how death comes
In my spirit the grim reaper?
Night falls from somewhere, far away,
Moving the ray from darkness into my temple
The demon runs, splitting the earth, to the Book
Of my books, written for all time
My god, what's happening to me ?
I'm blocking my way, I'm muddling it up
The darkness is deep. It's deep
And no one comes.
Where did you forget the word
That was once my home ?
And where's the song-
the column of air,
an altar between my ribs,
stopping my breath
mad mad world
my steps hunger
and time,
and the sea ?!...
[Translated by Alexandra Tomescu]

Alexandra Tomescu