17th - 22nd October 2013


Doina Ioanid


Doina Ioanid

Born 24 December 1968 in Bucharest, Doina Ioanid has published five volumes of verse to date. Since 2005, Doina Ioanid has been working as senior editor for The Cultural Observer, a leading Romanian cultural weekly.


Duduca de marțipan (The Marzipan Damsel), 2000
E vremea să porți cercei (It's High Time You Wore Earrings), 2001
Cartea burților şi a singurătății (The Book of Bellies and Solitude), 2003
Poeme de trecere (Poems of Passage), 2005
Ritmuri de îmblânzit aricioaica (Chants for Taming The Hedgehog Sow), 2010



Chants for Taming the Hedgehog Sow

Ritmuri de îmblînzit aricioaica, Cartea Românească, Bucureşti, 2010

translated from the Romanian by Florin Bican

  Too tired, too myopic. Even my name, a squashed clam, slowly sinks through my skin deep
within me, past soft tissues, past organs pulsating like terrified suns, deep down to where none
of the things on the outside can force their way in any more.

  Keep me away from this autumn, keep me away from the people, away from the fields
bristling with stubble... Take me in your arms and keep me away from myself, lest I get lost
among all these hideous heads of old women popping up in the light of the evening.

  Oh the glamour of being the visceral type, the unaffordable luxury of it all! Viscera aren't
meant for display in a showcase. That's where ordure builds up - the meanness, the hatred,
the fear. That's where Grandmother's meat grinder is, the proverbial box - Pandora an' all.
That's where Mom falls asleep alongside a host of her friends - neurotic women with
diabetes, prematurely ailing, hands crisscrossed by jar scars. Everything's complicated down
there and extremely mixed up. That's where crucibles crackle, that's where death comes
ingloriously. There, oh, there no one lies. Down there in the damp cold we all huddle
together, faces caved in on themselves like gloves turned inside out.

  Heart in hand I've been walking all over the city, treading the first snow of the year under
my feet. And my heart, sprinkled with wine and with vinegar, went on rotting away to the
beat of my years - all thirty and seven of them - while the magpies assembled on the
drummer-boy's shoulder. Bones alone couldn't save me. Nor could your name, Argentina,
you, Land of Promise. Only a big yellow dog took pity on me - humbly walked up to me and
ate up my heart, taking his time. Then he left, moving away towards the horizon like an
enormous sun flower.


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