A new poem

In a previous note, I posted a poem written by Galina Baranovski Sapovalova’s mother (A poem from Siberia). This one is written by Galina Baranovski Sapovalova herself. As the previous one, it is rather a cry coming from despair. Mrs. Galina says she wrote it when she returned to Bessarabia; she wrote it for all those people deported by the Bolsheviks.

I will say a few words before the poem, though. As I suggested, this is not the only one in the book. In fact, several of the narrators write one or more poems about the experiences they have had. I think this is one mark of traditional societies, in which people are not observers of the good or bad things that take place somehow almost outside of them, but rather they live everything together with the entire world that surrounds them. In such societies, this is what people do: faced with misfortunes, joy, or sadness, they burst out in song.

The many little poems and songs in Tolkien’s writings capture, I think, this human dimension.

Any suggestions for changes in the translation will be truly welcomed! English first, and then Romanian:

Little leaf and forest brother,
Don’t you beat me, dear mother,
And I pray you, curse me not
For they’ll take me to deport me.
Take me far away they will,
Over freshwater, and then, still,
Over endless sand,
In a far away country,
In the Russian land,
So no one would find me!
I will stay in prison,
No sun, no water given.
Light there will not be,
For people are evil, you see.
I will be forsaken,
For people are pagan!
I will have no mother,
I will only suffer;
Parents I won’t have,
And I will taste no fruit!
And what’s even worse,
All my brothers are cursed!
And I will cry, and cry, and cry,
Till my eyes get lost and dry,
With bloody, bitter tears,
For unanswered prayers.
Write me something, mother,
Write me any letter,
Write me with hidden words
To know how things are home,
Write me little verbs,
So I cry and moan.
God will surely see
How I suffer here,
And for my ordeals,
Seeing my appeals,
He will give a miracle
Clear, loud, and visible,
That I would go back home,
From the bitter, abusing world.
Little leaf and forest brother,
Don’t you beat me, dear mother,
And I pray you, curse me not
For they’ll take me to deport me…


Frunzulita poama, 
Nu ma bate, mama, 
Nu ma blestema, 
Caci m-or deporta 
Si m-or duce 
Peste-o apa dulce, 
Peste-o apa lina,
În tara straina,
În tara ruseasca
Sa nu ma gaseasca!
Ca voi sta-n închisoare, 
Fara foc si soare,
N-o fi nici lumina,
Ca lumea-i haina,
N-o fi nici lumina,
Ca lumea-i pagâna! 
N-oi avea nici mama, 
N-oi mânca nici poama, 
N-oi avea parinti,
Ci doar suferinti!
N-oi avea nici frati, 
Caci sunt blestemati!
Si voi plânge, plânge, 
Cu lacrimi de sânge, 
Cu lacrimi amare,
Fara alinare.
M-oi uita la soare
De n-am vreo scrisoare. 
Scrie-mi, mama, scrie, 
Scrie-mi vreo hârtie, 
Scrie mai mascat
Sa stiu ce-i în sat,
Scrie-mi maruntele,
Sa am dor si jele!
Vede Dumnezeu
De necazul meu,
Pentru-a mele chinuri
Line cu suspinuri,
Va da o minune,
Sa ma-ntorc în lume,
Din lumea amara,
Plina cu ocara! 
Frunzulita poama,
Nu ma bate, mama, 
Nu ma blestema, 
Caci m-or deporta…

About Tavi's Corner

Blogging on ancient philosophy, communist persecution in Romania (including deportation to Siberia), and Orthodox Christianity. I've translated books from Romanian to English, and I also write about them from time to time.
This entry was posted in Bessarabia, Deportations to Siberia. Bookmark the permalink.

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