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)
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. Owning your first publication of transcendental musings is an honour and privilege. 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 elevating 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 is certainly one of them. In her poetry book, accompanied by her pilgrimage journal, I invite you to discover 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
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,
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