Two Translations of Dana Ranga

by Monika Cassel

Carcharodon Carcharias

Auch wenn ich rufe, bleib – du wirst nicht bleiben. Du erkennst mich von weitem, nichts
kann dich täuschen.

Dein Herzschlag, ein Laut, schöner als ein Wort. Hunger verbindet verlässlich und das
Vergnügen zu fragen,

was gibst du mir? Geschwindigkeit und Liebe, Fett und Blut. Nun lege dich auf mich, ich
will dich tragen.

Schon lange folge ich dir, gierig auf Wunden und Rauschen. Verweigerte Botschaft, ich
hörte dich

atmen und singen in stiller Bucht. Wasser kennt keine Narben; Druckwelle, Abschied,
akzentfreie Entfernung

zwischen dir und mir. Ich brauche Gewissheit, mein Wissen um dich ist das Grauen.
Lamna, lamnidae,

Himmel und Wasser wollen nichts wissen. Was vermag die Vernunft, wenn das Neue
lockt? Betäubtes Glück schwimmt an der Kette.

Dein Fleisch, es zuckt und ruht. Augen auf, Augen zu. Mit rotem Bund durchziehe ich
die Meere, in der Hoffnung

du würdest warten. Neugier hält dich fest, Korallenbusch, erglüht durch mein Rufen; die
Verstecke leuchten.

Wenn ich tausend Herzen schlagen höre, weiß ich, dass es Abend ist. Jetzt stehst du vor
mir, deine Arme sind offen. Ich bleibe dir fern,

so weit wie deine Hand hinausreicht. Wie fremd ich dir bin, wie fremd ich mir bin. Meer,
Zelle mit zwei Kernen, ich und du

Great White Shark

Even when I cry out, stay, – you will not stay. You recognize me from afar, nothing can
deceive you.

Your heartbeat, a sound more beautiful than a word. Hunger makes a reliable bond, as
does the pleasure in asking,

what will you give me? Speed and love, fat and blood. Now lay yourself upon me and I
will carry you.

For a long time I have followed you, greedy for wounds and roaring. I heard you, a
message that was withheld,

breathing and singing in a quiet cove. Water has no scars; shock wave, parting, an
accentless distance

between you and me. I need certainty, my knowledge of you is dread. Lamna, lamnidae,

Sky and water play dumb. What can reason do when the new beckons? Numbed fortune
swims on a leash.

Your flesh, it twitches and rests again. Eyes open, eyes shut. I move through the seas with
a red band, in the hope

that you might be waiting. Curiosity detains you, a bush of coral, all aglow from my
cries; the hiding places shine.

When I hear a thousand hearts beat I know that it is evening. Now you stand before me,
your arms are open. I keep my distance,

stay as far away as the reach of your hand. How strange I am to you, how strange I am to
myself. Ocean, a cell with two nuclei, you and I


Monika Cassel was raised bilingual in the United States and Germany. As Chair of Creative Writing and Literature at New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, she developed a high school creative writing program with the support of the Lannan Foundation. Her poetry chapbook, Grammar of Passage, won the Venture Award and is forthcoming from flipped eye publishing. Her poems have appeared in The Laurel Review and Phoebe Journal, and her translations have appeared in POETRY Magazine, Guernica, Asymptote, Harvard Review Online, and others. In 2016 she was a Travel Fellow to the American Literary Translators Association Conference and she is currently a Poetry Fellow at the Attic Institute’s Atheneum Program. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Dana Ranga was born in 1964 in Bucharest. In 1987 she emigrated to Germany, where she studied semiotics, film studies, and art history at the Free University of Berlin. Her first book of poetry, Stop (2005), was written in Romanian. Ranga is the director of several award-winning documentaries, including East Side Story (1997) and I Am in Space (2012). Her first book of poems written in German, Wasserbuch, was published by Suhrkamp Verlag in 2011 and received the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, an award for authors whose mother tongue is not German, in 2014. A second book of German poetry, Hauthaus, was published in 2016. Several of Ranga’s Romanian poems have been published in English translation; her work has also appeared in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, and Moldova.