A gift; a poem by Valeriu Gafencu

This is a poem composed by Valeriu Gafencu during his last years in communist political prisons in Romania. Gafencu, considered by many who encountered him “the saint of prisons,” did not have a pen to write his poems; they survived because his friends memorized them and passed them from one to another. For many, the poems remained a source of normality in the middle of an insane world.
I translated the poem.

A gift

by Valeriu Gafencu                     

As a gift I send a lily,
Dear brother, from the garden.
It would give your eyes some comfort
With its pure, virginal garment.

Dear white, beloved flower,

How I’d wish that I could go

All embraced by your clean costume

To my Father, white as snow.

Seedling thus would I become,
In the most wonderful garden,
And my life would have as warden
Jesus’ love, from where I come.

In the night I cry all muffled
And I sigh with my faint voice:
Give to me the Wedding garment
With white lilies; I rejoice.

A lily as it appears in the drawings of Fr. Arsenie Boca (from his Living Words, published in 2014 by Charisma Publishing House)


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 Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A gift; a poem by Valeriu Gafencu

  1. tanabalan says:

    Great translation. Reading it, I felt the desperation of incarceration, but also the power of believing.


  2. tanabalan says:

    Great translation. I felt the power of desperation and also the power of believing.


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