Winner of the Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation
The Bridge is Marin Sorescu’s farewell to life: a book of wryly quizzical poems composed from his sickbed over five weeks as he waited for death to take him, his testament not just to human mortality and pain but to resistance and creative transformation.
The Bridge is unlike any other poetry book: like a medieval dance of death but sombre in movement, a procession of breathlessly spoken, painfully comic poems.
Marin Sorescu was a cheerfully melancholic comic genius, and one of the most original voices in Romanian literature. His mischievous poetry and satirical plays earned him great popularity during the Communist era. While his witty, ironic parables were not directly critical of the régime, Romanians used to a culture of double-speak could read other meanings in his playful mockery of the human condition. But later – like a hapless character from one of his absurdist dramas – the peasant-born people’s poet was made Minister of Culture.
‘His plain but mercurial idiom is engaging and likeable… He can also be wonderfully funny’ – Douglas Dunn.
‘He was content to let irony do its job…His texts are masterpieces of allusion and adroit manoeuvring…Black humour, a keen feeling for the absurd, genuine delight’ – Virgil Nemoianu, Times Literary Supplement.