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)




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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.

    Like

  2. tanabalan says:

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

    Like

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