Arise George, Arise John!

It is not for the sake of a bread on your table,
it is neither for pastures and nor for the stock,
it is rather for living a peace which is stable:
arise brother George, arise brother John!

For the sake of your kinsmen who died in the ditches
for the hymns that you sang as you stood in the dock
for the tears of the heavens, as you pained in the shackles
arise brother George, arise brother John!

It is not for the anger resounding your body
it’s instead for the sake of your cry to the world,
for the distant horizons with a brimful of planets,
arise brother George, arise brother John!

If you wish to regain all the ancestral freedoms,
through the heavenly gates your admission to gain,
break to pieces the shackles which are cutting your body,
arise brother George, arise brother John!

As prostrate you may wish once again to embrace
all that’s left from the blaze of your family’s hearth
they all gently come back to take hold of your soul
arise brother George, arise brother John!

Arise brother George, by freeing your shackles!
Arise brother John, back again on your bones!
Alight to the Heavens, the tempest abated,
arise brother George, arise brother John!

— Radu Gyr
(Trans. by Roman Constantin)

In 1945, Romanian poet Radu (Demetrescu) Gyr was arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison for anti-Communist activities. He was released in 1956, but re-arrested by the Securitate in 1958 for his poem Arise George, Arise John! (Ridică-te Gheorghe, ridică-te Ioane!), a call to resist agricultural collectivization. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison, and in 1964, he was released, possibly as a result of international pressure.

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