Dr. Kruk’s poetry translated into Romanian

Faculty Publication

English professor, Dr. Laurie Kruk, recently participated in a cross-border collaboration that saw her poem “Historical” translated into Romanian and published in the August edition of Contemporary Literary Horizons.

The collaboration came about following Dr. Kruk’s previous interview with University of Bucharest scholar and literary translator, Monica Manolachi.

Below is a copy of the poem:

 

Historical

A serious house on serious earth it is,

In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,

Are recognised, and robed as destinies.
 

Philip Larkin, “Church Going”

 

Belfast-born, prairie-parched, Canadian at last
for years Grandmother Elsie dreamed of this island, no doubt hastening
To it in her final flight. Now, ten years younger than that dying woman
citizen of the web, her granddaughter has made it to Galway,
seeking history in a concert at its cathedral, but finding
mystery as this sweeping fortress of stone and stained glass,
—proper name Our Lady Assumed into Heaven
is only a few years younger than I. 
Made of the wealth of worlds old and new: limestone, sepia marble,
West African mahogany, Pacific coast cedar. Tonight,
we are parishoners of music, sitting in the pews that face
not sanctuary and pulpit but the other way,
where the young organist exalts us with music
calling our gazes upward
beyond the symphony, with their gushing glory, who send notes
winging to him.  And tonight, Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” Played at state funerals
voted the world’s “saddest music” by BBC Radio, it draws us inward,
following each note in ritual, exquisite mourning,
quietly rocking here on hard benches in our church-going clothes,
as if in worship.
But from behind us, the voice of a child
four or five years old, pierces the sanctioned grieving
of violins, cellos, violas, with his own peculiar keening,
which, as we silently curse the selfishness of his parents,
seems to be a reminder of history’s wounds: children
still heard
even as the composer turns their pain to masochistic pleasure.
            We sit up straighter, shoulders turned away
eager to climb the wall before us with ladders of notes, seeking
the elevation of the young
organist, who charms pedals,  pumps keys
while the child, anyone’s child, cries on,

Like the lost Irishwoman, maternal ancestor
who had to bear Canadian daughters, who had to give up
her own homeland for the sake of the children,
who cried out in dreams to her own mother, across the seas,
across walls of willed distance,
and was also ignored.