“Romanian Poetry from its origins to the present – this brilliant parade of Romanian lyricism, is now able to be appreciated not just by Romanians, but by every poetry lover who reads English, the lingua franca of our days. It seems like an encyclopedia, but it is really 1001 Nights. No similar book exists in the landscape of Romanian literature.” ALEX ȘTEFĂNESCU
Romanian Poetry from its Origins to the Present is the most comprehensive bilingual representation of Romanian poetry (English translation side by side with the Romanian original), starting with the earliest discovered poems, to contemporary poets – some of them born only a couple of decades ago. Different to previous editions, this is a critical-reference volume, containing critical notes about each one of the 442 poets included!
The volume begins with “the poetry before there were poets”, a couple “timeless” anonymous ballads, and after them with the first poet who published in Romanian, The Metropolitan Dosoftei (his work, Psaltirea/The Pslalter, is from somewhere after 1650).
Such a broad anthology, will necessarily include the best known Romanian poets, such as Mihai Eminescu, Vasile Alecsandri, Alexadru Macedonski, Ion Minulescu, George Coșbuc, Octavian Goga, Tudor Arghezi, Vasile Voiculescu, Lucian Blaga, Magda Isanos, George Bacovia, Ion Barbu, Nicolae Labiș. However, the poets from before this “classical” period of Romanian literature are represented, perhaps for the first time, to an English reading audience – such as Ion Budai Deleanu, Ion Heliade Rădulescu, Elena Văcărescu, Grigore Alexandrescu, Dimitrie Bolintineanu, among others.
To sample just a few poets from each of the other significant historical/stylistic periods – the 1960 generation is represented through Nichita Stanescu, Ana Blandiana, Adrian Paunescu, Radu Gyr, Marin Sorescu, Ion Caraion, Nina Cassian, for example. This is followed by poets consectrated in the decades of 1970-1980, such as Nora Iuga Leonid Dimov, Romulus Vulpescu, Cezar Ivănescu, Mircea Dinescu, Ileana Mălăncioiu, Irina Mavrodin, George Țărnea, Petre Stoica, Dan Verona, Constanța Buzea. From contemporary poets, included are Adrian Popescu, Ioan Es Pop, Mircea Cărtărescu, Lucian Vasilescu, Angela Marinescu, Marta Petreu, Horia Bădescu, Florin Iaru, Cristian Popescu, Ion Stratan, Aurel Rău, Emil Brumaru, Ioana Crăciunescu Octavian Soviany. While from the really young poets – the editors have really made an effort to find the most significant voices: Adela Greceanu, Miruna Vlada, V.Leac, Marius Ianuș, Ciprian Măceșaru, Ania Vilal, Teodor Dună, Claudiu Komartin, Diana Geacăr.
A significant space is reserved for Romanian poets from outside Romania. The most obvious group is the that from The Republic of Moldova (Bessarabia) – Alexei Mateevici, Alecu Russo, Arcadie Suceveanu, Renata Verejanu, Leo Butnaru, Nicolae Dabija, Leonida Lari, Grigore Vieru; while from the younger generation we have Irina Nechit, Vasile Gârneț, Mihai Vakulovski, Nichita Danilov, Aura Maru, Maria Paula Erizanu, Ana Donțu, Iulian Fruntașu, Ion Buzu.
The other group are poets who emigrated, some of whom (though not all) have been out of scope, due do both physical and psychological distance, for Romanian literary critics and ordinary readers alike. They may live in France, Spain, Italy or Germany, or in far flung places (from a Romanian standpoint) such as Canada, The United States of America, Australia and New Zealand. To name just a few: Dinu Flămând, Gabriela Schuster, Carmen Firan, Andrei Codrescu, George Roca, Dumitru Ichim, Lucia Cherciu, Cristian Bădiliță, Gelu Vlașin; Valentina Teclici, Matein Vișniec, Alina Celia Cumpan. The Table of Contents will provide the rest…
This sweeping work (“it feels like an encyclopedia, but it is like 1001 Nights” – Alex Ștefănescu) is put together by the team which offered us the previous fore-taste gems such as Testament – Anthology of Romanian Verse, and The Bessarabia of My Soul – Daniel Ionita (editor and principal translator), Professor Daniel Reynaud, Dr. Adriana Paul, and Eva Foster.