VIRGINIA JOFFE, CARMEN FIRAN, ANDREI CODRESCU, ISAIAH SHEFFER, JULIAN SEMILIAN
Title: In the Most Beautiful Life (In Cea Mai Frumoasa Viata)
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Dist October 2002
1884167195 / 9781884167195
Seller ID: 20080209134259
In the poetry of Romanian Carmen Firan one hears the melodic echo of Anna Akhmatova, though more introspective. Firan's poetry contributes a distinctly post-Communist verse to the song Akhmatova began before the revolutions took place. Collected with the lovely and haunting photographs of Virginia Joffe, these short poems bear a sense of loss -- 'I'll pour my soul into bottles / And I will bury them though disbelieving / The sea's saving power / Or whether any bottle-readers remain. / I'll be up on a stone / Counting the disappeared / Like coins in a teacup storm' -- as well as a dogged, if sometimes dark, hope -- 'In the end god takes care of everything / And of all things that he granted us / The most valuable is forgetfulness: / To find each morning / The sun at the same place.' These last lines stand alongside a photograph of a worn Romanian woman selling bread by the road, knitting in hand as she waits. There are pictures of gypsies and soldiers, children and churches, toothless monks pitchforking hay and farming women with their sheaves. An Orthodox nun stands reading, a host of painted saints behind and these words on the page facing: 'I'm powerful, fruitlessly powerful. / The battles take place somewhere else, / With others' weapons.I am so powerful / That I'll find out from others / Just how it is I'm doing / and I will memorize my existence / Word by word.' A stunning, provocative book.
An Eighth Day View:
A lovely collection by noted New York photographer Virginia Joffe and Romanian poet Carmen Firan that records the turning over of the wheel of time, the changing of once seemingly immutable orders, the anguish of people struggling to escape history and to understand themselves. Bilingual text in English and Romanian.