Tuesday Apr 23


Carmen Firan, a poet and fiction writer, has published twenty books of poetry, novels, essays and short stories in her

native Romania. Since 2000 she has been living in New York. Her writings have appeared in translation in numerous literary magazines and anthologies in France, Israel, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. Recent books and publications here include The Second Life (short stories), The Farce (novel) In The Most Beautiful Life (poems with photographs by Virginia Joffe), and three other books of poetry published in New York, Afternoon With An Angel, The First Moment After Death, and Accomplished Error. In 2006, with Paul Doru Mugur and Edward Foster, she edited Born in Utopia. An Anthology of Romanian Contemporary Poetry (Talisman House).

The poems included here are from Firan’s new collection, Rock and Dew, scheduled to be published by Sheep Meadow Pressin late 2009. Adam-J-Sorkin Adam J. Sorkin recently published Memory Glyphs: Three Prose Poets from Romania (Twisted Spoon Press, 2009). He has two new books in press: Firan’s Rock and Dew and Mircea Ivănescu’s lines poems poetry (University Press of Plymouth, UK, translated with Lidia Vianu). With Vianu, he was awarded The Poetry Society’s Poetry [U.K.] Translation Prize for Marin Sorescu’s The Bridge (Bloodaxe Books, 2004). Sorkin is Distinguished Professor of English, Penn State Brandywine.

desperecheri (Carmen Firan)

îngerii nu sunt nici păsări
nici oameni
inutil să ne reprezentăm
trupul lor de copil dolofan
cu aripi de pelican
deasupra patului,
în colțul tâmplei amare
cuvinte împerecheate
sunt îngerii
născuți din iluzia altei vieți
atât de nepriceput desăvârșită

(Translation: Adam J. Sorkin)

angels are neither bird
nor mankind
it’s useless for us to represent
their chubby child-like body
with pelican wings
over a bed
or in a bitter corner of the temple
coupled words
are angels
born from the illusion of another life
impossibly perfect