Completely Subjective: Andrei Codrescu’s “Houses, Scams, Language (With a Line in Romanian)”
Andrei Codrescu was born in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania, and emigrated to the U.S in 1966. He founded Exquisite Corpse which is a Journal of Books & Ideas in 1983 and taught literature and poetry at Johns Hopkins University, University of Baltimore, and Louisiana State University. He won the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English award. He’s been a regular commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered since 1983, and received a Peabody Award for writing and starring in the film Road Scholar. In 1989 he returned to his native Romania to cover the fall of the Ceausescu regime for NPR and ABC News, and wrote The Hole in the Flag: an Exile’s Story of Return and Revolution.
A Condrescu poem I enjoyed was “Houses, Scams, Language (with a line in romanian)”. This poem speaks the truth about life and how sometimes thing just don’t go your way and also made no sense at times but that’s why enjoyed it. The winding road of this poem kept you reading and wondering. What I’ve noticed about Cordrescu poems is they all seem to make no sense to except for a line or two. A stanza that i enjoyed is “after days she was returned/ by the storms of language/ that had tossed her far/ & she rearranged her face/ for the English language—” This stanza to me speaks about the troubles of life and how we will all be thrown around by “the storms” and we will have to learn to get over it no matter how hard it is. Cordrescu also writes about the emotions of these dark times as he says “what i heard i did not hear/ what i saw i did not see/i trust my sense to dullness then/i kill my joy & cease to be.” These lines to be describe a feeling i’ve had where all seems lost and you just want to give up and you just don’t care but in reality there’s always a greener pasture and however hard your challenge maybe you can get through it. I also get the feeling that Cordrescu wrote this poem is a depressed state as he describes at the end “kill my joy and cease to be.”