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Syndic Literary Journal

In Sad, Old Europe

Written by Daniel Corbu

Translated from the Romanian by Olimpia Iacob & Jim Kacian 

Narrated by Bill Wolak



I knew that I was only a small efflorescence  

Of nothingness, an ephemeral protuberance 

                                 of the void 

like a day longer than a century 

from a restless eon of overlapping    

strokes of time. 

I was born late in a sad, old Europe 

painted like an actress for her last ball. 

I was born late 

fated to read the book of events word for word 

In the sacerdotal air of my mornings. 

It was late. 

With a stone sharp as death’s look 

Cain killed Abel 

Noah’s ark found its end 

on mount Ararat. 

With a big noise Sodom and Gomorrah  


and the implosion of the sin’s flower lasted 

in the corridors of the world.  

Jesus wrote the cryptic word left unsolved 

and shared it with the four winds through 

                         a thousand hurricanes  


Don Quixote overcame the windmills 

of Europe 

and Hamlet died 

announcing those fond of breaking news  

that something is always rotten in the state of Denmark. 

The Vedas─sweet laments of the being who encouraged  

illusions─were carried on a rickshaw 

to the courts of the translators from Munich and Manchester. 

with a victory devoid of arms.   

Beethoven wrote The Ninth Symphony─Ode to Joy. 

Finally, Robinson Crusoe left  

                    the wild island.  

The Greeks experienced gods’ fatigue 

Raskolnikov had just hidden the hatchet  

Stained with the blood of the crime. 

Somewhere in Kilimanjaro 

Hemingway’s rifle fired its last bullet 

And after one hundred years of solitude  

friend Marquez uttered his farewell declaration. 

I was born in a sad, old Europe. 

              It was late. 

In vain I keep on giving meaning to the vain. 

My dreams have become a garden of Eden adorned with wonder. 

Every day I weave something new into the lace of a tempest. 



Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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