Featured Poem


Poetry sometimes is murky, pointless,
other times restless like a breeze –
try to follow the middle way, a perfectly tuned violin
neither absorbed into the world nor alone.
Stelian is telling us that during World War I
airplanes’ wings had wires that needed to be rigged
to the same precise tension.
Not having the proper apparatus,
the Romanians summoned a violinist.
The planes all flew, some successfully, others in vain.
But what of the violinist?
Nobody knew his name.
Maybe he died under the bombs, under the apple tree
that burst into bloom while he was tuning.

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About the translation:
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Grete Tartler
Adam Sorkin
Original language:
Series 3 No.14 - Polyphony

About the author

Original poet

Grete Tartler

Grete Tartler has published nine collections of poetry and six volumes of essays. Starting in 1992, she served Romania as a di...

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Adam Sorkin

Adam J. Sorkin's books of translation include Memory Glyphs: Three Prose Poets from Romania (Twisted Spoon, 2009), Mircea Ivăne... » Read more


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