‘Antigone’ by Ileana Mãlãncioiu

A frozen hill, a white dead body
Left above ground by a people fallen in hard fight,
Starving dogs come to tear at the traitor snow
And another winter comes and tears it too.

Let a maiden appear, let her tread down the
Let her drag that imaginary hill away from the dogs
And hide it as if it were a dear brother
At the same time as you all wash your hands

And you will let her go living into
The tomb in that unreal white
As in the time when the emperor lost the great
battle she mourned and gave burial to a hill.

by Ileana Mãlãncioiu, from After the Raising of Lazarus, trans, Eileen Ní Chuilleánain.

Ileana read quite recently in the Unitarian Church @ St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, along with Julia Piera Abad, Eileen Ní Chuilleánain (who translated the book from which this poem is taken After the Raising of Lazarus ).  Other poems include; ‘My Sister as Empress‘, ‘Redemption‘ and ‘We Slept Beside the Mountain‘. Ileana lives in Bucharest and is of Romanian descent. She has suffered censorship including the culling of verse from her collection, Climbing the Mountain.