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Daniela Crasnaru
Written in 2007
Letters from Darkness
Soprano and piano
5 minutes
Difficulty level: Student
Daniela Crasnaru is a Romanian poet whose work was published during the Ceausescu dictatorship. She secretly wrote other poems expressing her true feelings about living under censorship enforced by terror, and hid them in a relativeís house for fear that her own home would be searched. This is a setting of three of those poems.
from A Private Affair

Ladies and gentlemen!
These tears really are tears.
This blood is not red paint.
This life of mine is not a stunt;
no currency in the world can pay for it.
I know that everythingís commercial:
love, friendship, freedom, art, beliefs -
they can all be bought and sold.
But even so Iíve a huge advantage:
here, where we live, death is still a private affair
for which Iím training every day.
Still Life

ĎCultivate the great, eternal themes -
love, birth, death.
Poetry of the moment hasnít a chance. It isnít literature.í
So says my friend who is afraid for me, for
The truth? Which truth?
Suffering, misery, pain, are not contagious
and not translatable.
The truth, perhaps, is this illicit June afternoon,
your hands caressing me sadly;
this corner of a table on which are lying a knife
and two slices of salami. Still life.
Heterogeneous objects
monstrously magnified
under the lens of this tear through which I see the world.
from My Private Hyde Park

Morning slashes the window with its bloody knife.
And today Iíll write quiet, obedient, poems, full
of camouflaging metaphors. Publishable.
But first Iíll iron my pillow
to dry out the tears; Iíll erase the salty
shorthand record of my nocturnal speeches.
With a hot iron Iíll press the damp surface of the pillow
like a criminal frantically removing traces of a crime.
And today, like yesterday, Iíll begin my day
thinking up harmless synonyms
for Terror and Cowardice.
Click below to download the Score (and parts if needed) as PDF files.