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Dumitru Chioaru is a poet of the subtlety and agony of times past. The description and concreteness of a Transylvanian geography build up impressive metaphors of melancholy  and obliteration. Chioaru’s modernity lies in the superposing of the present-day semantics of human life onto objects coming from the Middle Ages. This skill engenders a vortex of lyricism that is the trade mark of the poet’s uniqueness.
(Mirela Roznoveanu:  Dumitru Chioaru, The Life and Opinions of Professor Mouse, Limes Publishing,  Cluj-Napoca , 2004. The selected poems were published in the cultural magazine  Origins/Romanian Roots,  Norcross, Georgia, USA)
On Two Dumitru Chioaru Poems [posted on Mirela Roznoveanus blogsite] A commentary by Stefan Stoenescu:


Golden Valley

(Valea Aurie) and The Eyes of the City (Ochii Orasului) are two items in Dumitru Chioarus


cycle of 23 poems: Scenes of the Stained-Glass City with which he opened his outstanding 2004 volume. The former poem is more in the line of the cycle in that it evokes an occurrence in the poets adolesence (and intellectual formation) against the background of a growing and developing medieval town. The poem begins with the golden grove of its river (now the fully developed housing district of Valea Aurie) as emerging from a well-known Romanian fairytale, Youth Never Ending and Life without Death. The cultural allusion is moved further to involve the poetry book  which shaped the sensibilities of Romanian youth during and after the post-Stalinist ideological thaw, Nichita Stanescu’s first published volume of 1960 The Meaning of Love. Finally the poem modulates into a visionary experience of the poet, now a fully grown individual who is granted a chance meeting of his first love over (and out of) a glass of beer he is drinking in that very neigborhood. The emotion fully impacts the reader who cannot but share in the mystic nature of the encounter.

The latter poem posted by Mirela Roznoveanu dwells upon a subsidiary theme, the political one. Living in the city, participating in the market place, which is at the very center of economic and social life, a kind of a forum, has always been, down history, managed or controled by the omnipresent and ever watchful Big Brother, whose eyes are inbuilt in the tiled roofs of the public buildings! The moment selected by the poet when he himself was a witness of the suddenly quickened time of history in the making was the outbreak of the December 1989 Revolution that ostensibly put an end to the communist era. The eyes of the city, however, are still wide awake like some black holes of memory. A very unconventional and shattering conclusion of Chioarus subtle and mature historical-cum-political  analysis. Stefan Stoenescu 

Tot ce-mi amintesc de Valea Aurie
seam?n? cu un basm despre tinere?e
f?r? b?trne?e ?i via?? f?r? de moarte
nu-l voi povesti nim?nui
nu-l voi tocmi pre versuri
ci-l voi da pe un pahar cu bere blond?
?i fotografia n care beau paharul cu bere
f?r? s? m? pierd n no?iuni abstracte
doar o ntmplare din adolescen??
r?sare din spuma berii tremur?toare
ca iarba c?lcat?-n picioare de copii
n jocul de-a v-ati-ascunselea
pe lng? blocurile noi de beton
alt?dat? p?dure cu c?r?ri umbroase
pe unde ne-am dest?inuit iubirea
ntr-o prindere de mn? electriznd copacii

cte doi cte patru
(?tiam pe de rost Sensul Iubirii)
n Valea Aurie aproape de cer
credeam c? iubirea e drumul spre cer
 nu mai ?tiu sigur dac? a fost iepure
 sau pisic?
??nind dintre tufe n cale
dar la fel ca n basm
m-am trezit ?i eu n Valea Plngerii
dup? ani ?i ani de uitare
pe terasa din marginea cartierului de blocuri
beau singur o bere blonda
femeie din adolescen?? r?sare din pahar
tras? la fa?? mbr?cat? n negru
m? fixeaz? contre jour n obiectivul
unui vechi aparat de fotografiat
?i nimic n-o poate opri





All I can remember about the

Golden Valley


is like a fairytale about youth never
ending and life without death
I wont tell it to anyone
I wont put it in verse
but I will give it in exchange for a glass of  pale ale
together with the photograph that pictures me drinking it up
and I wont lose myself in abstract notions
only one occurrence in my adolescence
is rising from the foam of my jittery beer
like the grass trampled upon by childrens feet
as part of their playing hide and seek
around and about the new concrete buildings
formerly a dark wood with shadowy trails
along which we have confessed one anothers love
in a handclasp that electrified the trees
 by twos by fours 
 (we knew The Meaning of Love by heart)
down the

Golden Valley

close to the sky 
we thought love was the way to heaven —

 I cannot remember whether it actually was a hare
 or a cat
 darting out of the thicket across our path
 but as in the fairytale
 I suddenly found myself in the


 after years on end of forgetfulness
 here I am  drinking alone on the terrace of the pub in the corner
 of the newly-built  neighborhood a glass of beer the blonde
 woman of my adolescence rises from the glass
 with gaunt features clad in black
 she trains on me contre jour the lens
f an old camera
and nothing can ever stop her  


Pia?a Mare a ora?ului a?ezat
 la ntret?ierea drumurilor comerciale
 e gardat? de ochi cu pleoape de ?igl?
  ve?nic ridicate
 ochi prin care priveau al?i ochi
 de cte ori judele n costum de catifea ?inea sfat cu poporul
 de cte ori se f?cea zarv? ntre trgove?ii

 de neam str?in ?i neao?i
 de cte ori solii imperiilor narmate
 pn?-n din?ii istoriei
 treceau c?l?ri iscodind umbrele
 turnurilor n?l?ate de bresle
 ochii ora?ului mereu deschi?i
 au r?mas prin veacuri ca o masc?
 a ochilor de oameni la pnd?
 n anii ro?ii ai ora?ului ro?u
 lumea s-a obi?nuit cu ochii mereu deschi?i
 ca trec?torul cu umbra
pn? ntr-o zi nsorit? de decembrie
 un tn?r c?zu primul pe caldarm
 sub o rafal? de gloan?e
 din ochii ora?ului
 sp?rgnd ghea?a t?cerii istorice
 la ntret?ierea de vremuri comerciale
 dasc?lul Laz?r sculptat ?eznd n piatr?
 prive?te orb ?i mut poporul
 ce sparge butoaie de bere n pia??
 lumea s-a schimbat pe nesim?ite
 doar ochii ora?ului r?mn
 mereu deschi?i 
 ca ni?te g?uri negre-n memorie


The Big Marketplace of the city
lying at the crossing of commercial routes
is watched over by eyes with wide open eyelids
made of tiles
eyes through which other eyes would watch
whenever the justice of peace in a velvety suit
held a conference with the people
or whenever a scuffle broke out between the local

tradesmen and those of foreign stock
whenever the messengers of the empires equipped
with state-of-the-art armed forces
came on horseback spying the shadows
of the towers built by the guilds
the citys ever wide awake eyes
have lasted through the ages like a mask
of the eyes of humans watching
during the red citys red years
people got used to the ever watchful eyes
as the passer-by to his shadow
until one sunny December morning
a youth was gunned down in the middle of the street
by a blast of bullets

fired from the eyes of the city
thereby shattering the ice-bound historical silence
at the crossing of commercial times
Gheorghe Lazar the great teacher of the nation carved in stone
sits and stares blankly and speechless at the people
busily opening beer caskets in the marketplace
the world has stealthily changed
only the eyes of the city have remained
ever watchful
like black holes in ones memory

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