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Inner Callings - a pilgrim's diary
Romanian-English book of therapeutic poetry by Bristena Mantu

"Oh! Flames of Furious Desire" by William Blake
Painting displayed in the Tate Museum London


 

A diary excerpt...

"Good morning; today is a new day! The sun is shining again on my way. Even though I still hear the echoes of the inner thunderstorms of the previous days, today I am walking with a smile on my face. [...] My Achilles tendon is still hurting badly, but I have gotten used to it by now. The good thing is that my mind is no longer preoccupied with incessant complaints about the pain (indeed, having some enjoyable company is significantly helping). And, oh, my writing… what would I do without its sweet flow in my arduous ascent? I walk, and the pain walks alongside me; I no longer resist it! It’s interesting to note that my weakest point is hurting, according to the legend… Could this be an essential test of life, the lesson of the biggest weakness? Do you let it dominate you, or do you dominate it? The answer can be found in the next step you will take…"

 

(On the Road to Compostela - Journal Fragments)

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A book of lyrical confessions
and journal excerpts on the Road to Compostella...

This lyrical confession is an invitation to join me in my journey of initiation into self-knowledge and self-realisation. I dedicate the volume "Inner Callings - a pilgrim's diary", my first book, to those who, like me, yearn for the fulfilment of the human body and soul in testing times in the world... 

"I knew Bristena Mantu's verses from various prestigious cultural publications; I appreciated the sensitivity, the substance, and the emotion conveyed; I expected her to dare at some point to incite the appearance of the "spirit" of a book; this volume confirms the appearance of a new Supergirl of Romanian poetry [...] A troubadour, but also a princess of (quasi)absolute Freedom, Bristena Mantu enchants, provokes, reassures, conquers, loves: bow and arrow for lost paradises, not to be defined, but to be rediscovered! Freshness, candour, that of the eternal bride Bird-Phoenix, bird-Writer, towards her own burning! Song of the Romanian lark over the world!"

 

(A.G. Halil-Secară, foreword)

"The book was received today. Many thanks. It is an honour and privilege to own your first publication of transcendental musings. I read a couple of random poems and am very impressed. Congratulations on completing this masterpiece, it's obvious you have a strong connection with God and are assisting in the elevation of humanity. The greatest work possible. From my heart, thank you."

 

(J. Artstew, reader)

"Bristena Mantu dares to affirm her originality by firmly distancing herself from the cannons of previous generations, calcified in outmoded thinking systems. The poet lives the drama of a solitary explorer by owning the role of a trailblazer and, with an insurgence of youthful vitality, Bristena Mantu makes her debut in literature with the conviction of a seasoned poet, conscious of her creative calling and purpose to offer the entire world the light of authentic self-knowledge. In every word of her poetic expression, one is touched by the fire of her inner burnings, revealing a restless soul blessed by the wings of geniality." 

(V. Dimofte-Chiriac, literary critic)

 

"Dear Miss Bristena Mantu, your verses in "Inner Callings - a pilgrim's diary" gave me the hope (in fact, long lost!) that poetry is still worth believing in! With love and good wishes for your sensitive beauty." 

 

(A. Pop, editor)

"The special aura of Bristena's poetic self-portrait is sourced from the richness of "the love I came here to be" ("Love is Within"). Her book is not only a pilgrimage of self-exploration and self-analysis, for Bristena isn't just a pilgrim, but a wonderful "pelerina" (raincoat) defending us against the rain, the sun, the clouds, helping us to (no longer) be afraid of Ourselves! She is special because God rediscovers itself through her breath, toils, and trust in her rebirth efforts. Bristena loves the human soul and encourages us: Don't forget where you come from! How many soul doctors write bilingual poetry, daring to expose the radiograms of their own inquiry, as if awe strikingly turned into art exhibits?"

 

(C. Goldu, Ph.D., Romanian Language teacher)

"Bristena's book urges us to accept our destiny with serenity, with no remorse, lamentation or revolt. Many trials will appear along our way, but we shall discover the quintessence of life within them. Bristena knows how to bridge the gap between two worlds or two hearts. At peace within herself, Bristena gifts us a volume whose debut, I believe, will not only resound in the world of art connoisseurs but also across all communities who value love, kindness, generosity and true friendship. If there are voices that deserve to be heard, Bristena's voice is certainly one of them. I invite you to discover in her poetry book, accompanied by her pilgrimage journal, the joy of offering pure soul and the kind of love without which the world wouldn't exist." 

(I. Chiracu, engineer, reader)

"Unusual for our turbulent times, fraught with pandemics, poverty and war, Bristena's volume exults in light, love, soulful overflow, and inner peace. The recipe for such inspiration could consist of remembering her spiritual roots, intellectual studies in foreign territories, the self-knowledge gained through professional training and a burning desire to align her soulful experiences with the body. In a world of duplicity, fakeness and imposture, the honesty and courage to publish such material of therapeutic merit deserve to be cherished. Not anyone can be sincere, but only those who know how to make meaning of their confessions."

(P. Stoicescu, literary critic)

Surrender to the Light

 

"It stops with me!", I cry

kneeling at the altar of truth 

where God is my witness

and my ally as I surrender 

totally into the light 

 

"It stops with me", I know

this ancestral toxic pattern

viciously ensnared my parents

and all the generations before

in destructive traps of illusion

 

"It stops with me", I choose

to wield the sword of truth 

to set myself free for good

to bleed at my own understanding

of real choice and freedom

 

When I Open my Heart 

When I open my heart 

when I truly, deeply open my heart

I can feel life flowing through 

like a river of pure life force energy

gushing, splashing, rushing through my veins

bringing healing to my aching pains

 

When I open my heart 

this ever-evolving work of art

I remember I am the sculptor,

I am the marble piece in progress

as well as the infinite space

blessed with divine grace 

And so my knots begin to dissolve 

and my worries can finally resolve

under the nurturing, soft rays

of divine love energy merging 

with my own heart, oh, sweet synergy 

Sweet Illusion

The tender whisperings within

I ignored once again 

and danced instead to the loud band

of promises and hopes I didn't need

to make, yet I couldn't help myself

 

I couldn't then, but now

I wish to reclaim myself from this 

prison of illusion, to reclaim my will

to choose in full honour of my path

and the true light of my soul 

 

Soul, my dear soul

keep me faithful to your star 

and please, I beg you, 

don't ever let me fall naive prey 

to yet another sweet, sweet illusion… 

Love is Within

 

It was a beautiful feeling

to find the love that I keep losing 

right inside my core, again,

at home

The presence of the other loving me 

summoned it out of its cavern of forgetfulness

shyly, it came out smiling again 

 

The presence of love dwells within me now

it shines like the bright sun

upon the endless skies

thank God, I am alive!

so I can try, time after time,

to be the love I came here to be 

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