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.