Tragedies Which Are Meant To Happen

by Gherasim Luca
translated from Romanian by Ştefan Bolea

I am free

so I can pay attention to the things around me

my fingers shivering like poplars, short as bullets

squeezed firmly the woman’s white neck

like ancient poets were squeezing in their usual love fits for nature

flowers – sheep –  field and stars

the poets of today, poets with fingers shivering like poplars and short as


have each at home a woman’s white neck that must be strangled

the clearness with which we’ll perceive the things around us afterwards is so necessary

and their purple tongue, what a foolish spectacle


And now that we are free our stroll along the streets becomes important in a way we can tell:

women are more polished and more provoking today

the gents are more smiling

and our pockets usually loaded with candies and scraps of paper contain stones of all sizes


At the same time with us other men began walking on the great boulevards of the city

they have white fingers, fat like slices of bacon, they keep the fingers in their pockets

stuffed with the last picture of their girlfriends and a snotty handkerchief.

The poets from today, the poets with shivering like poplars fingers, short as


the poets with pockets containing stones of all sizes

must know that the single difficulty is the smashing of the first window of the great boulevards

because all the other windows will smash by themselves

just as it is enough to extinguish the first star and all the others will be themselves extinguished

I apologize for the star comparison, poets,

it’s only a memory from the old times

when I was ecstatic about blooming trees and I used to faint at every sunrise.


The poets from today, the poets with fingers shivering like poplars and short as


may throw their stones at the star comparison

it will probably be the first window smashed

then all the other windows will smash by themselves.



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