Tug Dumbley interpreting The Silver Fanged Boar by St.Augustin.Doinas at the book launch of Testament – Anthology of Romanian Verse in Sydney the other evening…


The link below is a video snippet from the book launch of Testament – Anthology of Romanian Verse, the other night at Gleebooks in Sydney – contains an amazing interpretation of The Silver Fanged Boar (St.Augustin Doinas) by actor Tug Dumbly. In the English translation, of course, from the volume…


Sydney Book Launch of Testament – Anthology of Modern Romanian Verse – 5 March 2013 at Gleebooks, Sydney

Together with the authors (Daniel Ionita, Eva Foster, Daniel Reynaud), musicians Anikiko and John Maddox, actor Tug Dumbley, the Consul General of Romanian in Sydney Mr Floricel Mocanu, and 80 or so guests, we have had a great time at the launch of Testament – Anthology of Modern Romanian Verse (Daniel Ionita – Minerva 2012). Mr Tudor Bucea, from the Eminescu Cultural Society, and Gleebooks, were the perfect hosts!!

LS17 Group - Copy

Ballad of the Chatterbox Coquette – by Horia Badescu – translation Daniel Ionita

Ballad of the Chatterbox Coquette

by Horia Badescu – translation by Daniel Ionita

It was sometime in April, I remember

Perhaps in nineteen seventy and… what,

My soul was full of bones like crimson ember;

Buried in fear and boredom, and all that.

And at the Mongol’s inn, in shadow’s beauty

With good old wines, and scents and no regret,

There came a time I had to pay my duty

Of love towards that chatterbox Coquette.

beneath the sunset of her eyebrows parting

I started my first worship to progress,

from which her mouth would lazily be starting

The nightly bud of passion to undress.

She carried in her eyes a sad carnation

Which lingered on the seconds passing by,

And called on it my fall into temptation

With teary fingers full love, and shy.


Cluj Launch for Testament – a really fun day,with really fun and amazing people!

Daniel Ionita (author) with Ana Munteanu (Minerva Publishing House, left) Catalin Condurache (middle), Adrian Ivanitchi and Anca Dinu from Transylvania TV (right)

Excellent evening (1st Feb 2013) starting at Bookstory Independent Bookshop in Cluj, with the presence of Professors Ion Pop, Virgil Stanciu and Ovidiu Pecican, as well as poets Horia Badescu and Adrian Popescu. It continued at a restaurant called Appartment 1 (!!) where we enjoyed very good food, and the music of Catalin Condurache and Adrian Ivanitchi.

Pavel Perfil has died…

Today the noble soul of Pavel Perfil, writer, editor, literary stylist and critic has moved on from this earthly existence

Pavel Perfil

. I was blessed to chat to Pavel Perfil at length a couple of months ago, well before the stroke which took him away, and had the honour of his presence at one of the launches of Testament. A superior and pure soul has gone. May he rest in peace.


“In Granada, in a caslte, sheltered from the rain and wind…”, thus started a poem of doubtful taste, recited with some gusto by the boys from my neighbourhood. I stop in time from the reproduction of the poem, as the rest is quite lewd, though in a somewhat more refined way from the run of the mill teenage ditties. And here we are, over 35 years since I last heard a recital of this poem, I find myself in Granada for the first time. I doubt that I shall meet either don Alfonso “Brebenel”, or Brohilda, the sad maiden with a perfect body, for whom he was pining, under the gaze of his dotting mother. She (Brohilda that is) had two eyes and a number of carefully described features – as do most girls, maidens or not. Though, and here is a value judgment on my part which invites trouble, those who remain maidens for a long time, might be a bit sadder, on average, which I am almost sure was the case with sad, big eyed (and not just…) Brohilda. But away from her and the love-struck don Alfonso, Granada, at least the part that matter, the central part, is a maze of narrow streets and old buildings, with nice caffes and and restaurants, and an amazing juxtaposition of medieval Christian and Moorish architecture. So far so good. But you can easily get lost and not find your way for a while. Not that it matters much, as wherever you turn there’s something interesting. I wish don Alfonso and Brohilda best of luck.

The universal therapist?

Facebook is asking me how am I feeling.
A trite or shallow question, if there’s one…
Does it really mean it? Is it even an IT? Maybe it’s a s/he?
Or am I perhaps missing something here… Something  big:
Maybe the universe has decided to apply some kind of universal therapy
to all all of us? (internet users that is, as the rest do not matter
- and do not deserve to be acknowledged – I am doing it for
Simply rhetorical reasons, since they will not benefit from this therapeutic
Model called facebook.
But back to our question: facebook is asking me how am I feeling
On YOUR behalf! Were you even aware of it? I mean, at a deep level.
Stop. Think. For a minute, take it seriously. Or for two minutes, maybe.
Think about it: is it any wonder that you get bloomin’ annoyed at times with what people,
(Your “friends”) post?
You are asking them (through facebook’s universal
cosmic therapeutic interface) how they are feeling. And some of them chose to be…
…honest. To be themselves, authentic, that is. And this means, sometimes: to be stupid, self-centred, self-referencing,
codswallop ingurgitating bottom-feeders. Sometimes not.
In the end who’s responsible? You? Facebook?
For this therapeutic question, I mean: How are you feeling, Daniel?
Which neither (of you two – or is your number legion?) take seriously enough.
Next time I will tell you, and maybe Ms Facebook, how I really feel.

What will it bring…

To some, the future’s worth the effort: to plan, to ponder to consider. Still, it will be here soon enough, and mostly not as we’ve predicted, or planned for. What will the young 2013 bring? Better, what have you done in its first 6 days? What are you doing NOW? As for me, I am lingering in the Catalunyan capital, pondering on Antoni Gaudi, Pablo Casals, Joan Miro, and the guy in Park Guell who was so amazing at plying his cymbal! A gypsy from Romania I reckon. Had quite a gathering around him; a true virtuoso. Unlike the sorry South Americans on the trains, who play some really silly rhythms, heavily backed up by some… well… back up system. Food, well… I am tapased out. But I am willing to try another pattisseria in Sarria.


Testament-Anthology book lauch in Brasov – a great success!!

The lauch of Testament – Anthology of Romanian Verse (bilingual edition) in Brasov, at Libraria St O iosif was a fantastic occasion. The people present, including A.I. Brumaru, Daniel Dragan, Mihaela Malea Stroe, Adrian Munteanu, Laurentiu-Ciprian Tudor, Stefan Basangeac, Romeo Nicolae Stefanescu, Eugen Axinte and others, as well as many members of the public, got to listen to marvellous poetry recitals (especially from Adrian Munteanu) as well as a folk recital from Adrian Ivanitchi and Catalin Condurache. The dinner and folk recital afterwards at hotel STOP, gave us time to know each other better, and listen to the wanderful Adrian Ivanitchi and Catalin Condurache for a full concert.

Mihaela Malea Stroe, Daniel Ionita and Daniel Dragan at Hotel STOP restaurant in Brasov