The golden age and the iron age

Nicholas Coande

I am not the beast

“Max Blecher” publishing home, 120 p., 2022

Years in the past, commenting on an older guide of poems by Nicolae Coande, we affirmed that, in a literary period dominated by minimalism and autobiography in a miserabilist key, the poet has the braveness to domesticate a maximalist lyricism and to unearth from the underground literary historical past, the place it appeared that he would stay buried perpetually, the romantic delusion of the messianic poet, animated by Dostoevsky’s perception that “magnificence will save the world”. From the attitude of the most recent poetic promotions, which have misplaced their aplomb for the metaphysical and are extra involved with the social, detest massive phrases, spectacular gestures and cultural references (particularly once they do not come from throughout the Atlantic), Coande’s lyrics can appear pathetic and grandiloquence. In actuality, she is barely “completely different”. It combines romantic mythologies with the surrealist imaginary and the disabuse of postmodernism, it doesn’t repudiate the gorgeous within the title of authenticity, it tries to re-accredit (and never discredit) the poetic and reaffirm the distinctive existential standing of the poet.

These “energy strains” of Nicolae Coande’s poetry will also be discovered within the verses from I am not the beast, just lately printed quantity (2022) on the “Max Blecher” publishing home. With out stunning the spectacular “face change” of a poet who, with the passing of the years, outlined his territory increasingly more exactly, the guide involves be added to a scriptural assemble elaborated with persistence and care, within the title of a “program ” which Coande formulated explicitly since his first volumes. On the heart of this program is positioned (because the writer himself said, referring to his 2015 quantity, They did not let me rule the world) the concept “the island that writes poetry is homo sacer of all ages, the excommunicated, the self-designated to impress and illustrate the distinction, past the regulation and but inside it: our picture within the mirror, as we don’t at all times have the ability to acknowledge it.” Alongside the strains of such a program, this homo sacercaptured in his numerous poses, can be current within the poems from I am not the beastbroad poems, constructed sequentially, wherein Nicolae Coande appeals (as in his older books) to the formulation of fabulous autobiography elevated to the scale of non-public delusion, wherein the autobiographical element is built-in into the warp of a rare historical past: “I journey with Henric the Navigator who has by no means sailed/ on the huge seas the place fish have by no means swam/ from dawn to sundown because the solar was educated by males/ wave after wave driving as I additionally galloped as a baby/ on the horse of the barber Mareș whereas the ocean from the portray/ on the wall I fell asleep I used to be keen on it/ the hair that fell in strands on the ground – the place wouldn’t it be/ the hair of kids who’re not wonderful as they’re?/ The gorgeous and candy sea (it’s not salty as some say)/ the ocean as darkish as wine (borrowed from the Odyssey)/ fenced in fence with the cemetery subsequent to the barber’s home/ the place he additionally rests bored with a lot hair/ fallen to the ground as a person falls after a lifetime of labor/ Like this” (Hat-men, VI). The protagonist of those “extraordinary tales” is the Poet, for whom Nicolae Coande reserves an distinctive future; he’s the consultant of the sacred on earth, the brand new Messiah referred to as to avoid wasting a residual world, which has exhausted its energies (“outdated treasure the world”) by way of the ability of the gorgeous: “The guide of the poet from the Higher Metropolis/ wearing his Father’s shirt/ in the intervening time of the ocean banished/ bored with counting lifeless stars bored/ to be a part of a die that at all times loses/ misplaced in an hourglass of the 1000’s forgotten underneath the solar/ a grain of sand destined to be a grain of sand/ and when ten measures of magnificence they got here down/ above the world (borrowed, Midrash Tanhuma)/ we scattered within the fields whereas/ the final fell on you mortal/ who suppose you might be protected within the palm of God./ We is not going to die – is your outdated saying./ Now the fist is clenched however the life in its cage/ cannot be life./ It is the center of the final historic evening/ down on this planet time grows among the many rubbish” (The plant boy, I). In relation to the remainder of humanity, the poet will due to this fact signify the exception, the distinction and – in Nicolae Coande’s reveries – he’s endowed with the powers of the aed of outdated, capable of enliven nameless crowds: “I’m the tallest boy on the final bench/ a leaping jack that the world he hides himself in time/ as a result of I may be invisible whereas I discuss/ to your soul/ once I rise up folks shuffle restlessly/ the home windows of the room curve somewhat/ a breeze passes over their face and so they really feel/ that there’s somebody coping with part of them/ then they drop their eyes to the bottom and really feel ashamed/ pure disappointment of the stamp obtained at delivery./ I’m the shy boy from the final bench I promise/ I might be a brand new well-known Adam in an affordable reservation” (The Norwegian sweater I). If the parable of the messianic poet is taken over by Nicolae Coande from the legacy of romanticism, the power to detach from his personal phantasms (as in the long run of the earlier poem) belongs to a spirit that has gone by way of the expertise of postmodernism and doubts the chances of poetry, in order that the passion he’s tempered by the voice of lucidity, and his poems typically turn out to be a mix of romantic fervor and postmodernist disillusionment. The poet appears to really feel comfortable in a paradisiacal, timeless world, wherein the indicators of the sacred have remained perceptible, however a world that may solely be evoked as a reminiscence and wherein the gorgeous manifests itself solely as a “hint”: “The river the place I bathe within the solar operating on small soles/ the trail of purple thistles as ladies are/ at their first kiss within the summer-in a flash/ scorching lips wanting you in a dream they ate you/ within the labyrinth the sponges whisper to me do not get misplaced/ do not be scared look -us as we go away/ the space between the brand new home and the outdated one/ the place I’m referred to as to swear that I can’t develop outdated./”You’re my boy you’ll by no means die”/ Who remembers the title you used to name me/ who hears the way you sing the gold in sleep?/ Has not all the sweetness handed” (The plant boy, V).

This “golden” age of being and, equally, of poetry is opposed by their “iron” age, lived within the closed air and mud of libraries, after you realize that every one the books have already been written: “God the Greek instructions “Learn!” however I do not/ I take heed to orders shouted in libraries filled with the lifeless/ I give a leg to knowledge “Go exterior and sweep/ the rubbish is within the beam and philosophy hasn’t moved a straw”/ all the pieces sordid even love a bag carried by all/ seems to be pityingly within the mirror/ sees how the objects in a portray transfer/ concurrently the painter’s hand falls in a nook/ the broom forgotten by a drunken maid within the parlor./ I shake the mud off a thousand books and sharpen a knife/ for the nights when I’ll write a verse./ I’m the nameless one left behind the body” (Males-hats, I).

Nicolae Coande’s lyric lies between these two ages of the poetic, one recoverable solely as a fantasy, the opposite belonging to a gift seen with out empathy, between utopia and dystopia. And the poet appears extra grasp than ever of his long-tested technique of expression, being among the many “classics” of his promotion, which don’t disappoint us, however don’t shock us both. His poetry impresses with the excellence of its execution and its aristocratic air.

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