6 ani cu desenele lui George


De ziua mea, îmi pun telefonul pe silent. Normal că-mi place să primesc mesaje, dar tot ce-mi doresc o dată pe an e să nu vorbesc la telefon. Iar despre cadouri am scris asta prin primăvară, încă valabil. Există, totuși, un cadou pe care-l aștept în fiecare an, din 2013 încoace: desenul de la George Roșu. Și în fiecare an îl găsesc în Inbox, neîntârziat:









Bonus: 3 desene primite cu alte ocazii speciale, într-un an oribil (2015) – umăr fracturat, mailuri prea lungi, o iarnă care avea nevoie de buline.

Februarie 2015

Martie 2015 

Mai 2015 


Să știi c-o să aștept desenele tale cu inside jokes până când o să crească nivelul mării cu 20 de metri și-o să dispară ultimele urme de daci :)) Adică încă vreo 50 de ani de-acum înainte. Doar prima prevestire nu e pozitivă, să ne-nțelegem.

Dar până atunci, abia aștept să ne revedem.

PS: George vine marțea viitoare (pe 7 august) la București și a acceptat să se întâlnească cu mai mulți oameni pentru o seară de povestit despre artă și viață și câte și mai câte.
E un eveniment public, dar cu doar 30 de locuri disponibile, bine, cel mult 29, că eu am ocupat deja unul: detalii aici, bilete aici.

Hasta la vista!

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5 poems (Vol. 3)


Another round of 5 poems landed in the magic-making hands of 5 local artists:
Ana Bănică, Adelina Butnaru, George Roșu, Ruxandra Șerbănoiu and Yanna Zosmer received the poems via e-mail only a week ago and sent them back to me as heart-warming illustrations.

I love Brâncuși’s words about childhood:
‘When we stop being children, we start being dead.’
So let’s keep our inner child happy and lively for as long as we can. The child who loves playing and laughing and learning and discovering the world. The one who’s curious about anything from tiny navel fluff to huge faraway stars. The one with the never-ending pile of questions. The one who won’t surrender before those rituals of adulthood that strip all life of wonders and magic.

The 5 chosen poems travel back to the much bigger
homes and classrooms and roads in our memories,
to smells and sights and sounds of
casual fears and small-scale lies and jumbo love treats.



by Michael Blumenthal

Perhaps a bird was singing and for it I felt
a tiny affection, the same size as a bird.

Imagine now, an affection the same size
as the thing it’s felt for: for the seed,
seed-like emoluments of liking and,
for the rain, droplets of tenderness
clustered in puddles at your feet.

And now remember how, as a child,
someone is telling you they love you.
How much does daddy love you? they
ask and you, childlike, spread
your arms as wide as a child can.

Little do you know it then, but the rest
of your life will be spent measuring
the distance between “that much”
and what love, in fact, is capable of –
the narrow width of a man or a woman,
their terrible thinness,
their small bones
growing constantly inward
from your spreading arms.

Published in Poetry Magazine (April 1984)
Copyright © Michael Blumenthal.

Illustration by Ana Bănică


by David Berman

Walking through a field with my little brother Seth

I pointed to a place where kids had made angels in the snow.
For some reason, I told him that a troop of angels
had been shot and dissolved when they hit the ground.

He asked who had shot them and I said a farmer.

Then we were on the roof of the lake.
The ice looked like a photograph of water.

Why he asked. Why did he shoot them.

I didn’t know where I was going with this.

They were on his property, I said.

When it’s snowing, the outdoors seem like a room.

Today I traded hellos with my neighbor.
Our voices hung close in the new acoustics.
A room with the walls blasted to shreds and falling.

We returned to our shoveling, working side by side in silence.

But why were they on his property, he asked.

From “Actual Air”, 1999
Grove Press, Open City Books
Copyright © David Berman


Illustration by Adelina Butnaru



by Louis MacNeice

In my childhood trees were green
And there was plenty to be seen.

Come back early or never come.

My father made the walls resound,
He wore his collar the wrong way round.

Come back early or never come.

My mother wore a yellow dress;
Gently, gently, gentleness.

Come back early or never come.

When I was five the black dreams came;
Nothing after was quite the same.

Come back early or never come.

The dark was talking to the dead;
The lamp was dark beside my bed.

Come back early or never come.

When I woke they did not care;
Nobody, nobody was there.

Come back early or never come.

When my silent terror cried,
Nobody, nobody replied.

Come back early or never come.

I got up; the chilly sun
Saw me walk away alone.

Come back early or never come.

© Louis MacNeice, Collected Poems (2013)

Illustration by George Roșu



by Roger McGough

A millionbillionwillion miles from home
Waiting for the bell to go. (To go where?)
Why are they all so big, other children?
So noisy? So much at home they
Must have been born in uniform
Lived all their lives in playgrounds
Spent the years inventing games
That don’t let me in. Games
That are rough, that swallow you up.

And the railings.
All around, the railings.
Are they to keep out wolves and monsters?
Things that carry off and eat children?
Things you don’t take sweets from?
Perhaps they’re to stop us getting out
Running away from the lessins. Lessin.
What does a lessin look like?
Sounds small and slimy.
They keep them in the glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass. Imagine.

I wish I could remember my name
Mummy said it would come in useful.
Like wellies. When there’s puddles.
Yellowwellies. I wish she was here.
I think my name is sewn on somewhere
Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.
Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.

© McGough, Roger. “First Day at School.”
All the Best: The Selected Poems of Roger McGough.
Illus. Lydia Monks. London: Puffin, 2004.

Illustration by Ruxandra Șerbănoiu


by Phyllis McGinley

The first thing to remember about fathers is, they’re men.
A girl has to keep it in mind.
They are dragon-seekers, bent on impossible rescues.
Scratch any father, you find
Someone chock-full of qualms and romantic terrors,
Believing change is a threat –
Like your first shoes with heel on, like your first bicycle
It took months to get.
Walk in strange woods, they warn you about the snakes there.
Climb and they fear you’ll fall.
Books, angular looks, swimming in deep water –
Fathers mistrust them all.
Men are the worriers. It is difficult for them
To learn what they must learn:
How you have a journey to take and very likely,
For a while, will not return.

Copyright © Phyllis McGinley (1905 – 1978)

Illustration by Yanna Zosmer


I am most grateful to these wonderful creatures for jumping in so fast (they only had 1 week to squeeze the task in their schedules and send me the illustrations) and I’d be really happy around my belly button if you showed off your love by following their work and sharing this piece with a friend.


About 5poems:

I decided to choose 5 poems every month (there is a list, and it’s growing bigger and bigger) and share them with the world. A world that might just come to love them as much as I do. And with a little help from my friends, there will also be yummy custom-made illustrations.
Around each month’s end, the poems and their fresh illustrations will be revealed on a dedicated Instagram account – @5poems (yes, please, do follow us). All goodies will also be printed and exhibited in our pocket bookshop+gallery (Receptor / Cărturești & Friends). And when it’s time for another round, the previous small prints will settle into the family album – a permanent collection gathering all illustrations and poems featured monthly.
Check out: Volume 1 here. Volume 2 here.


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5poems (Vol. 2)


5 poems I love recently landed in the magic-making hands of 5 local illustrators.
Wanda, Dragoș, Anna, Andreea and Daia hosted the poems in their hearts for a week and now we’re sending them into the world as delightful illustrations.

Enjoy reading the chosen poems and zooming in on their amazing visual alter egos:


by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

(Published in The Complete Poems 1926-1979. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983.
Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel.)

Illustration by Wanda Hutira


by Frank O’Hara

After the first glass of vodka
you can accept just about anything
of life even your own mysteriousness
you think it is nice that a box
of matches is purple and brown and is called
La Petite and comes from Sweden
for they are words that you know and that
is all you know words not their feelings
or what they mean and you write because
you know them not because you understand them
because you don’t you are stupid and lazy
and will never be great but you do
what you know because what else is there?

(Published in The Paris Review, Issue 49, Summer 1970)

Illustration by Dragoș Boțcău



by Sarah Kay

When I am inside writing,
all I can think about is how I should be outside living.

When I am outside living,
all I can do is notice all there is to write about.

When I read about love, I think I should be out loving.
When I love, I think I need to read more.

I am stumbling in pursuit of grace,
I hunt patience with a vengeance.

On the mornings when my brother’s tired muscles
held to the pillow, my father used to tell him,

For every moment you aren’t playing basketball,
someone else is on the court practicing.

I spend most of my time wondering
if I should be somewhere else.

So I have learned to shape the words thank you
with my first breath each morning, my last breath every night.

When the last breath comes, at least I will know I was thankful
for all the places I was so sure I was not supposed to be.

All those places I made it to,
all the loves I held, all the words I wrote.

And even if it is just for one moment,
I will be exactly where I am supposed to be.

(From No Matter the Wreckage, published in 2014 by Write Bloody Publishing)

Illustration by Anna Florea
1/2 of rivulet.studio



by Wisława Szymborska

I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.

(From Nothing Twice, 1997. Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.
Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh)

Illustration by Andreea Moise


by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

(From Extravagaria, 1974. Translated by Alastair Reid)

Illustration by Daia Grigore


I am most grateful to these wonderful creatures for jumping in so fast (they only had 1 week to squeeze the task in their schedules and send me the illustrations) and I’d be really happy around my belly button if you showed off your love by following their work and sharing this piece with a friend.


About 5poems:

I decided to choose 5 poems every month (there is a list, and it’s growing bigger and bigger) and share them with the world. A world that might just come to love them as much as I do. And with a little help from my friends, there will also be yummy custom-made illustrations.
Around each month’s end, the poems and their fresh illustrations will be revealed on a dedicated Instagram account – @5poems (yes, please, do follow us). All goodies will also be printed and exhibited in our pocket bookshop+gallery (Receptor / Cărturești & Friends). And when it’s time for another round, the previous small prints will settle into the family album – a permanent collection gathering all illustrations and poems featured monthly.
Check out Volume 1 here.


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Despre povești mici care cresc oameni mari


„Alice (din Țara Minunilor) se plictisește lângă sora ei care citește, trage cu ochiul în cartea ei, dar pentru că nu vede imagini sau linii de dialog, se-ntreabă înainte s-adoarmă: ce rost are o carte fără poze sau dialoguri?”

Așa a început ieri Florin Bican (cred că e traducătorul meu preferat acum și, totodată, unul dintre scriitorii de care-mi place mult) moderarea unei discuții despre cărțile ilustrate pentru copii care au mai puțin de 1000 de cuvinte și pot fi citite de la un capăt la altul în mai puțin de 20 de minute.


Mini-Doza de Grandoare a adus împreună editori de carte (au fost prezenți reprezentanți ai editurilor Art / Arthur, Nemira / Nemi, TREI / Pandora M, Vellant, Cartea Copiilor), alături de scriitori de carte pentru copii (printre speakeri: Adina Rosetti), ilustratori (speaker: Livia Coloji), designeri (Dinu Dumbrăvician și Adelina Butnaru de la Faber Studio / Tzim Tzum Books), în fața unui public format din artiști, scriitori, redactori, activiști pentru alfabetizare și educație și alte câteva persoane semi-off-topic, interesate de publishing-ul pentru copii, printre care hop și subsemnata.


Un exercițiu un pic dificil pentru personalitatea mea single-tasking a fost ascultarea conferinței în română – de la o oarecare depărtare, și în engleză – de la o oarecare apropiere (din politețe pentru oaspetele din SUA). Dar chiar și-așa am reușit să notez câteva lucruri receptate dinspre masa invitaților, le las aici ca food for thought:


Brandi Bates (fondatoare Citim Împreună România, de 4 ani citește săptămânal copiilor care vin de bună voie și nesiliți de nimeni să asculte povești la biblioteca comunitară pe care a crescut-o în Lupeni, un orășel de pe Valea Jiului):

● 80% din piața de carte pentru copii din România e reprezentată de cărțile traduse.
Foarte multe cărți au traduceri foarte slabe: traducerile proaste nu respectă inteligența copiilor.

● E ideală o dietă echilibrată: povești crescute și publicate local, consumate alături de cele din cărțile importate.

Raising readers: Dacă vrei să crești un cititor, trebuie să începi prin a-i citi cel puțin 20 de minute pe zi, în fiecare zi, din prima lui zi de viață. Citește-i din cărți de bucate, de pe bloguri sau de pe site-urile cu știri oribile, dar pe un ton pozitiv :)) (în primii 3 ani). Apoi, din cărți de povești. Pentru un copil care știe deja că iubește cărțile (ascultate), cititul și mersul la școală vor fi activități mai ușor de adoptat (deși ce citește un copil când învață să citească în sistemul nostru de învățământ e o cu totul altă poveste…).

Adina Rosetti (scriitoare):

● Ca autor pentru copii, nu scrii pentru tine, clar scrii pentru alții: scrii cu copilul în minte, scrii cu copilul în tine, scrii cu gândul să-l apropii pe copil de carte, de cărți, de literatură, în general.

Catch-22: Nu știu dacă în țara noastră nu sunt cititori pentru că nu sunt librării sau nu sunt librării pentru că nu sunt cititori.

● Mie-mi place foarte mult o frază pe care o găsim de multe ori în descrierile scriitorilor: după o lungă enumerare de joburi dintre cele mai diverse, la un moment dat apare și mă termină – „și din anul cutare s-a dedicat definitiv scrisului”. Și eu mă întreb: care e secretul? Cum a reușit să facă switch-ul și să se dedice definitiv scrisului?

Livia Coloji (ilustratoare):

● Nu avem școli pregătite pentru a educa ilustratori de carte. În Facultățile de Arte, ilustrația e văzută ca „artă minoră”, iar când termini o astfel de facultate, te trezești că ții în mână o cheie franceză pentru lucrul în mecanică fină. Așa c-o mai iei o dată de la capăt cu învățatul, peste ce-ai învățat la școală.


Scurt, la obiect și nesurprinzător: aproape tot ce se trimite pentru grupa de vârstă 0-6 ani e de nepublicat (Florin Bican e și membru al juriului Trofeului Arthur).

Un exemplu scos din buzunarele povestitorului nostru moderator nu are nevoie de introducere sau de alte explicații, poate doar de-un litru de agheasmă de la dumnezeul scrisului, fiți atenți, poezie:


Cucu și Păsărica

de Cristina Mariana Bălășoiu

Cântă cucu în livadă,
Păsărica vrea s-o vadă.
Cântă cucu, n-ai ce-i face,
Păsărica nu-i dă pace.

Cântă cucu pe-o rămurea,
Păsărica enerva,
Razele soarelui, în cuibul ei da,
Locul îl încălzea.

Sta încinsă zi de zi,
Și-apoi cucu-și aminti
Un cântecel de la sate –
Păsărica da din coate.

A apucat-o un jucat
Și de cuib a uitat.
Cântă cucu mai cu zor,
Păsărica o luă-n zbor.


Am mai găsit una aici.


Cătălina Ulrich, conferențiar la Facultatea de Științe ale Educației, Universitatea din București

● În drum spre întâlnire, am intrat în librăriile din centru care erau deschise (două aveau program până la ora 13:00) și am răsfoit câteva cărți noi de pe rafturile dedicate copiilor. Există o neutralitate a subiectelor abordate de cărțile pentru copii mici: toate par să fie în continuare doar despre numere, culori și animale, mama și puiul. Ori ar trebui să mai discutăm cu ei și despre lumea pe care o văd zi de zi, despre gen, despre viața în familie și-n afara ei, despre lumea în care cresc, de fapt.

Multe titluri sunt respingătoare prin sofisticare, prin complexitate inutilă, atât ca grafică, cât și ca text. Am descoperit că există inclusiv un ghid al bunelor maniere pentru copii foarte mici…


Părinți în fața cărților ilustrate:

„De banii ăștia iau o carte sau chiar două cu mai multe cuvinte.”

Florin Bican: O carte cu mai multe ilustrații se poate citi de mai multe ori decât una cu mai mult text. E refolosibilă. 


Dinu Dumbrăvician (designer de carte, Faber Studio; creatură creatoare creativă la Tzim Tzum Books)

● Despre Tzim Tzum Books: nu cred că suntem o editură adevărată, avem doar o carte.  Ne propunem oricum să fim mici și subversivi, cu speranța că lucrul ăsta n-o să ni se dovedească fatal.

● O precizare importantă: o carte nu e alcătuită doar din text și ilustrație. E nevoie de profesioniști care să aibă o viziune închegată, integrată asupra obiectului-carte. Fiecare are limbajul lui – autorul comunică prin cuvinte, ilustratorul vorbește prin imagini, iar un designer stăpânește limba materialelor, a literei, a tiparului, a tuturor detaliilor care transformă povestea într-o carte propriu-zisă (… frumoasă). Un specialist în DTP nu ia decizii, treaba lui e să aplice decizii, dar pentru ca acestea să existe și să fie asumate, editurile trebuie să colaboreze cu designeri de carte pricepuți.

Livia a adunat autografe de la toată echipa care-a adus pe lume Sfaturi pentru fetițe 



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