During National Poetry Month and the COVID 19 scare, we start April’s issue with poems from Eastern Europe by Aura Christi (born in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, now living in Romania) translated by Petru Iamandi & Adam Sorkin. Chosen many months ago, these two poems now appear as if they were somewhat of an artistic foreshadowing of events stirring in the air; even their titles, “Spell” and “Elegy,” have a certain heaviness surrounding them.
With a dark circling wand, the last stanza of “Spell” casts foreboding sounds and a lasting image of a bird:
What rumble swirls,
roars, grows, struggles
like a bird caught
between life and death.
And her poem “Elegy” has the speaker “I” in a dreamlike state questioning existence:
You look at yourself in the mirror and listen to your humming:
I no longer am, I, I no longer am,