24 January 2004

Home, by Stefan Baciu (1918-1993)

Home (Patria)

Home is an apple
in a Japanese grocery window
on Liliha Street
in Honolulu, Sandwich Islands
or a gramophone record
heard in silence in Mexico
--Maria Tanase beside the volcano Popocatepetl--
home is Brancusi's workshop in Paris
home is a Grigorescu landscape
on an autumn afternoon in Barbizon
or the Romanian Rhapsody heard on a morning
in Port au Prince, Haiti
and home is the grave of Aron Cotrus
in California
home is a skylark who soars
without borders and without plans
home is a Dinu Lipatti concert
in Lucerne, Switzerland, on a rainy evening
home is this gathering of faces
of events and sounds
scattered across the globe
but home is
a moment of silence.

This is home.
Stefan Baciu was born in Brasov, Romania, on 29 October 1918, and died in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, on 7 January 1993. Here's a short biography in Romanian of Baciu the "poet, eseist, memorialist, ziarist, critic de arta, traducator, diplomat, profesor universitar" posted by Transylvanian German exiles in Bavaria.

In an article on Romanian exiles, Constantin Eretescu says that Baciu "wore his exile the way soldiers wear their war wounds: striving not to let them show"--at least until he arrived in Honolulu ("at the end of the earth"), where "the New Ovid arrived in paradise" (Noul Ovidiu a ajuns in paradis). (Ovid was exiled to the Black Sea port of Tomis, now Constanta, in present-day Romania--hardly paradise, either then or now.)

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