Two Romanian poems included in The Guardian’ top 50 most beautiful love poems in the world
Poems by Nina Cassian and Doina Ioanid were included in an international top 50 of the most beautiful love poems in the last 50 years, reports British newspaper The Guardian. Poetry specialists from Southbank Centre in London selected a list of works written in the last 50 years and this time they haven’t focused only on traditional options, such us English Barrett Browning or William Shakespeare, considered the greatest writers in English literature.
Writers were picked up from 30 countries, from Saint Lucia to Iraqi Kurdistan and among the most beautiful poems Romania was included, thanks to poets Nina Cassian and Doina Ioanid. Thus, ‘The Yellow Dog / Cainele Galben” by Doina Ioanid, and ‘Lady of Miracles / Donna Miraculata’ by Nina Cassian, are among the 50 most beautiful love poems over the last 50 years.
Nina Cassian (born Renée Annie Katz on 27 November 1924 in Galati, Cassian was a pen name,) was a Romanian poet, translator, journalist and film critic. Nina Cassian also wrote books for children and made translations into Romanian of classic poetry and drama such as Shakespeare, Molière and Bertolt Brecht. In 1969, Cassian was awarded the Writers’ Union of Romania. In 1985, Nina Cassian was invited to the United States as ‘visiting professor’ within Soros scholarship to lecture at New York University. She died on 14 April, 2014 in New York.
Lady of Miracles (Translation by Laura Schiff):
Since you walked out on me
I’m getting lovelier by the hour.
I glow like a corpse in the dark.
No one sees how round and sharp
my eyes have grown
how my carcass looks like a glass urn,
how I hold up things in the rags of my hands,
the way I can stand though crippled by lust.
No, there’s just your cruelty circling
my head like a bright rotting halo.
Doina Ioanid was born on December 24, 1968 in Bucharest. She graduated the Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest in 1995 and Masters Courses (French Cultural Studies) at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature of the same university in 1998.
The Yellow Dog (Translation by Florin Bican):
‘Heart in hand I’ve been walking all over the city, treading the first snow of the year under my feet. And my heart, sprinkled with wine and with vinegar, went on rotting away to the beat of my years – all thirty and seven of them – while the magpies assembled on the drummer-boy’s shoulder. Bones alone couldn’t save me. Nor could your name, Argentina, you, Land of Promise. Only a big yellow dog had mercy on me – humbly walked up to me and ate up my heart, taking his time. Then he left, moving away towards the horizon like an enormous sun flower’.