the ideal cat is one that purrs at the state’s expense, by Paul Vinicius


the ideal cat is one that purrs


at the state’s expense


poem by Paul Vinicius

translated from Romanian by Claudia Moscovici


but here

by no means

will there be talk of cats

but of their cunning way

of purring at the state’s

and their master’s canary’s expense


but here

there will especially

be no talk of man

but of his canine way of walking vertically

without thinking the same way


About romanticlovepoetry

I was born in Bucharest, Romania and immigrated to the United States when I was almost twelve years old. Here I obtained an B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from Brown University. At Princeton, I met and fell in love with my husband, Dan. We live in Michigan with our two children, Sophie and Alex. I taught philosophy and literature, focusing on the Romantic period, at Boston University and the University of Michigan. Since 2003, I've been working with a group of international artists on postromanticism, a contemporary art movement that I co-founded with the Mexican sculptor Leonardo Pereznieto. Postromantic artists strive to express beauty, sensuality and passion in their artwork. I do the same in my scholarly book "Romanticism and Postromanticism" (2007) and in a collection of love poems, "The Painful Poignancy of Desire" (2007). If you're interested in taking a look at this art, our website is I'm also a fiction writer. My first novel, "Velvet Totalitarianism" (2009), describes a family's survival in communist Romania due to the strength of their love. You can find out more about me and my writing on my author's profile on
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