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Veronica Porumbacu

Veronica Porumbacu (pen name of Veronica Schwefelberg; October 24, 1921 – March 4, 1977) was a Romanian poet, prose writer and translator.

Born into a Jewish family in Bucharest, her parents were Arnold Schwefelberg and his wife Betty (''née'' Grünbaun). Until age seven, she was cared for by a nanny from Porumbacu de Sus village; this was the origin of her pen name. She studied at Elena Doamna High School from 1932 to 1940, during which time she became a communist activist. Upon graduating, she was unable to enroll in the University of Bucharest due to anti-Jewish laws, instead attending the private College for Jewish Students in 1943–1944. She subsequently attended the literature faculty of the University of Bucharest from 1944 to 1948. She was a schoolteacher in 1943, a reporter and editor at the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company from 1945 to 1949, editor and then assistant editor-in-chief at ''Viața Românească'' from 1949 to 1953, assistant editor-in-chief at ''Gazeta literară'' from 1953 to 1956 and section chief at the Romanian Writers' Union from 1956 to 1964. From 1970, she taught at the Bucharest Pioneers' Palace.

Her first published work appeared in ''Ecoul'' newspaper in 1944, signed Maria Radu. She also wrote for ''Lumea'' (headed by George Călinescu), ''Contemporanul'', ''Flacăra'', ''Viața Românească'', ''Gazeta literară'', ''Steaua'', ''Tribuna'', ''Ateneu'', ''Orizont'' and ''Luceafărul''. Some of her poems, such as ''Baladă pentru 1 Mai'' (Ballad for May Day, 1949) and ''Către centrul de votare'' (Towards the Voting Center, 1952) were published in the official Communist Party newspaper, ''Scînteia''. Her first books were ''La capătul lui '38'' (prose) and ''Visele Babei Dochia'' (poetry), both from 1947. Her poems of the 1950s were abundant and of little aesthetic value, putting into discursive and superficial journalistic style the themes and "theses" of the ruling communist regime. It was only with the 1961 ''Diminețile simple'' that her work again became more personal, giving lyric touches to daily, often domestic, happenings; this tendency is apparent in her following books, from ''Memoria cuvintelor'' (1963) to ''Voce'' (1974). ''Bilet în circuit'' (1965) and ''Drumuri și zile'' (1969) are Porumbacu's accounts of travel, both domestically and abroad. She wrote two insightful memoirs, ''Porțile'' (1968) and ''Voce și val'' (1976), as well as poetry for children. Her numerous, well-done translations include works by Friedrich Schiller, Jean Racine, Louise Labé, Emily Dickinson, Rafael Alberti, Miklós Radnóti, Attila József and contemporary Nordic poets.

Her husband was literary critic Mihail Petroveanu; the couple died in the 1977 Vrancea earthquake. Provided by Wikipedia
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In: Rovnost. -- ISSN 0862-7967. -- Roč. 68, 1952, č. 66, 18. 3., s. 5
Annotation: Básně.
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