on the plains, abundant nettle -
the cart with iron scraps
overturned in the ditch
Undoubtedly, the reader is invited to go back to what he already knows so that the poem can be understood properly. What is not said and is only suggested, that is, the allusions, will connect the whole poem and will provide a unified and meaningful waggish sense.
I do not think there is anyone in Romania who does not understand the poem speaks about the gypsies. The nettles, the wagon, the iron scraps represent, of course, their privilege. It is not hard to recognize them and it is not hard to imagine the funny way in which the author has staged the incident either. At the sight of the nettles, hypnotized by the vital and spring season prestige of the new, fresh and green iron, the tribe rushed on the plains, abandoning the bankrupt business with scraps of iron and returned to the old affair with the plant that refreshes hemoglobin. Their rush toppled the cart.
It is remarkable how eloquently the contextual ellipsis can work. I wonder if the poem could be understood without further clarifications in Sweden, Germany, and England. While for us its deciphering is not only a piece of cake but also a true delight. Equally true is the reader’s participation to sketching the whole scene with its imagined ironic motivations, out of only two details: the abundant nettle on the plains and an overturned cart.
(Corneliu Traian Atanasiu)