Thursday, December 6, 2007

FRAGRANCE OF LIME (published with permission)

This is a collection of Romanian language renga and related forms by Magdalena Dale and Vasile Moldovan, translated by Magdalena Dale. The front cover is very attractive, with a photo of lime flowers. As the fragrance of these flowers is one of my favourite scents, I was drawn into the collection immediately. In fact lime trees permeate the whole of the book, with two of the sequences been solely dedicated to the tree, including Moldovan's haiku sequence EMINESCU'S LIME from which this haiku is taken

A lime tree
instead of a bookmarker...
the old love story

The kasen FRAGRANCE OF LIME, although not solely focussed on the lime, includes this from Dale:

Useless nights
with the lime in bloom
only in my dreams

The kasen moves on to include this wonderfully evocative imagery from Dale:

Shooting stars,
the chestnuts are bursting

in an undertone

Other images of rural Romania appear time and again in the poems, including snow, orchards, birds — including storks and crows, haystacks and carol singers. All the poetry is influenced by the seasons, this haiku by Moldovan is from the renga MORNING BREEZE:
All of a sudden
over the burn stubble field
the harvest moon

The moon reappears later in this renga in a haiku by Dale:

Haystacks —
in the halo of the moon
the fireflies.

The only criticism is that some of the translations don't flow as well as they could, though that doesn't detract from this beautiful collection that transports the reader to a peaceful rural setting.

Reviewer: Juliet Wilson

reviwreviewer: Juliet Wilson.

reviewer: Juliet Wilson.

No comments: