The Romanian Riveter: REGISTERS by Petre Stoica, translated by Daniel Ioniţă

My birth is recorded in the register
my baptism is calligraphed into the register too
the diagram of my diligence and of my laziness –
followed up through mountains of school registers
once upon a time stealing a rose, to give it to you
I was punished and recorded the register
between some pages with coarse headings
resides sealed meekly,
my eternal love for you
our son: recorded in the register too
over and over again Petre Stoica present in the registers:
for illnesses, for thoughts for so many debts
not repaid on time
until the day the lid on the coffin of the thick register
will fall for the last time
on my name
the name of a man who’s left the world of the living

By Petre Stoica

Translated by Daniel Ioniţă

This poem first appeared in English in Testament – Anthology of Romanian Verse, Ed. Daniel Ioniţă, Editura Minerva, (2016)

Read The Romanian Riveter in its entirety here.


Petre Stoica (1931-2009) was one of the most important poets of Romanian post-war literature. He became known for the ‘camouflaged’ refinement which defines volumes like O casetă cu șerpi (‘A Box of Snakes’). Irony, everyday life, domestic chronicles or, by contrast, sharp socio-political observations are some of the key characteristics of his writing.


Daniel Ioniţă teaches organisational improvement at the University of Technology Sydney. Published works include Testament – 400 Years of Romanian Poetry and three volumes of his own poems. His work has been included in several anthologies in Australia and Romania. He is the current president of the Australian-Romanian Academy for Culture.

Category: September 2020 – The Romanian RiveterTranslations

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