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Clara Burghelea

Translator’s Note: Ștefan Manasia

Ștefan Manasia is one of the most prominent young Romanian poets, known not only for his remarkable creative work, but also for his active presence within the Romanian and international literary community. 

These poems are part of his sixth poetry collection, The Taste of Cherries, which stands out as a fresh, curious journey into regeneration: emotional, spiritual, mineral. The collection is divided in three parts, with poems that abound in surrealistic imagery, bookish, cinematic, and musical references, elements of the mundane or the geo-political, biographic details or auxiliary narratives that all coagulate in shaping the love story that is the ontological core of the collection. 

These three poems are anchored in the poet’s daily obsessions and navigate the solitude he experiences in his mundane interactions. In an explosive mixture of senses, objects, and materials, the poet paints the world in vivacious colors. Apparently written in a simple manner, his poems, resonant and fragrant, require subordinating my own instincts as a translator, to the poet’s to preserve Manasia’s stylistically distinctive voice. In the absence of the woman he loves, the poet’s senses are attuned to the unfolding details of his inner life, as well as the interactions with all other creatures. Form wise, they are built of unexpected associations, lush metaphors, and seductive inner rhythm. Such rhythm is at times difficult to preserve in English and certain changes in line breaks are required to successfully render the tension of the content. 

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