ELENA LILIANA POPESCU (1948, Turnu Măgurele, Romania). PhD in Mathematics, Professor at the University of Bucharest, Romania. She is poet, translator, essayist and editor, member of the Writers’ Union of Romania and Romania and abroad
the Romanian PEN Centre. She has
published 60 books of poetry and translations from English, French and Spanish, both in poems, translated into more than 20 languages, have been published in various anthologies
and in more than 100 literary magazines in Albania, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh,
Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Estonia, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua,
Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico,
Romania, Serbia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Uruguay, USA). She has participated in various literary events abroad. Moldova,


You told me
is like
nothing ever before… A miracle
in the silent moment lying hidden
in the common
You told me Poetry
is Wonderment hiding
Elena Liliana Popescu
(Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Spain, USA, Pakistan, Taiwan). Her
Hungary, Republic of

of not knowing
to unravel the Mystery.
But you never told me Poetry
calls you
you can find
the Question–Answer.

Seated at the table of Silence, In the unknown kingdom, Poets break for us
fresh bread,
with heavenly dew..
The dead go with the dead, they say – the living with the living!
But do we really know
who is dead,
and who is living?
Another Poet, in the beyond… One less Poet, here.
for the silent kingdom, the Poet leaves behind a song of Love unknown…

You never believed you could win by giving up weapons,

and would find your freedom only by fighting your own image.
You will no longer look at yourself in mirrors that show you
weak or arrogant,
brave or coward,
when you wish it…
You heard that before but never believed it…
What can your image be in a mirror-less country? You will ask yourself, again, and will find out only if you let the answer come by itself.
What can you lose
when the only possible reality is your quest?
Which way to go—
the traveler asks,
unaware it is the only road to follow…
And where to go
if he is already there— even if he doesn’t know yet who will win…
What competition is more feared than when you are
the only stubborn player?
But how can you keep fighting when your opponent wears only your image
as his lucky charm?
“Abandon all hope” you were told— so you really can hope!

But tell me, what good is hope for one who has everything, or knows the way back
when he has already arrived?

The clock did not stop
but hours no longer show
on Time’s dial, which has come to a standstill, contemplating.
Perspective still works,
but objects are no longer clear against the pure expanse
of unnamed Space.
Life has not ended but death
no longer looms at the horizon
waiting for someone to rise up sometime, somewhere, in the land of oblivion…
Everything is as it used to be though nothing has meaning when lost in a timeless space, in a spaceless time…

A few words, you told yourself,
just a few—and created
a story whose present
is yesterday by now, just as tomorrow will be past for another story
left behind, lost forever…
One word, you told yourself,
just one— and you are on your way the unknown,
that unexpected step, free
to think of who you are and are not,

of that instant in which you can become and be you.

We long forever for the Sea from the sea of Remembrance We long for the Distance
from the distance to the Horizon
We long forever for the Sky from the sky of Memory
We long for the Ephemeral from the ephemeral in Nature
We long for the unborn
In what is born
Or the unknown /(unrecognized –in original) in what is known

Within you lies the poet Within you, poetry
Within you lies the prophet Within you, the prophesy
Within you lies the voice Within you the silence
Within you lies the thought Within you the never-thought
Within you the quest Within you the fathomless Within you the question Within you lies the answer

Nothing unchanged Nothing impermanent Nothing undiscovered Nothing ignorant

Remembrance lies hidden in all that is unknown Immortality is hidden
in all that has been lost
Find the truth
In what was forgotten Only He is all-knowing of all that is created.

He who still longs to put
his feelings into poetry,
who is a guest at this royal banquet inspiring his humble fantasy
Who brings all he has as offering
to Him who is Life itself,
who forever returns to the sources and learns anytime from the advice
Of anyone willing to teach him,
who dares look on in silence—
and find in random deeds
Him who, Alone, fully knows their pain
And keeps them alive through Love— who tries to capture in poems
the living Essence hidden in secret potions, extracting from Life’ canvas
What the Painter wished to show
through shadows on the Face of Immortality; who dares to speak to humankind
with ephemeral verses
Dipping his quill in mute despair, reviving hope, spreading with words his love of all there is
and all he has learned;

Who once had so much to say
with his contrived rhymes—
could he then write one more poem
that is not the one of the endless Silence?
You, night of night,
who was before existence, where life sprung suddenly
because it had been there always,
life that was to come
with time
through all lives
that are born and die incessantly…
You, truth untold, because mere speech would hide you from our unknowing eyes, you live for us,
within us, unchanging, forever…
You, sea of flames
that never burn, only heal
with their blazing light,
all powerful,
your purifying waves
transform the one who feels
in their murmur the pulse of life, ebb and flow,
motion and stillness
whole and void, alike –
and yet
none of those,
indescribable form
that cannot be fathomed…

My poem melts away
through the darkness surrounding you, through the deepening fog
that forbids
even a glimpse
of your luminous face…

English version by Adrian George Sahlean


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