New East Digital Archive

‘I don’t want my ovaries:’ 3 poems on child-freedom by Romanian poet Miruna Vlada

‘I don’t want my ovaries:’ 3 poems on child-freedom by Romanian poet Miruna Vlada

12 November 2021
Poems by: Miruna Vlada
Translated by: Alexandra Văcărescu

Miruna Vlada is a poet, researcher and lecturer in Eastern European Studies at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA) in Bucharest. Born in 1986, the writer saw her debut collection, Extrauterin poems, published at only 16-years-old. Since then, she has released three more collections: The Break Between the Veins, Bosnia. Repartition, and her latest volume, Premature. Premature served as a home for the poems below, rooted in Vlada’s personal experiences, as well as the current debates on child rearing. It also touches on Romania’s past — particularly Nicolae Ceaușescu’s ban on abortion in 1967, a law which was only revoked with the fall of communism in 1990. Vlada is part of PEN Romania, and is currently working on a novel.

I don’t want my ovaries.

Do I have the right not to want them?

Can I be born with this right?

I just want to knock them

like two Easter eggs, called into question:

has He risen? is it true that He has risen?

for of course our mothers made us social animals,

based on copulating.

for of course society itself is, at some point,

the product of the fertility of social mother-animals.

that’s certain.

I created you I can destroy you,

said my ovaries and my mother’s ovaries at the same time

How can you have children

when you have a mother that doubts you?

this is true self-marginalisation.

our interactions are monetised in Silicon Valley

& in the Kremlin

and our lack of interactions is monetised

in Silicon Valley

& in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem

white men have fun

white men become rich

out of our desire to touch

out of the absence of embraces out of our psychosis they make money

I am the embodiment of the lack of connection between mother and foetus.

I am the generation of Barbie-minded girls,

that arrived in Romania in the 90’s without Ken. he turned up later and

he was more expensive.

you don’t have a job, you can’t afford a child;

you have a job, you don’t have time for a child

this is the anthem of our generation

I am a monument dedicated to those around me and their opinions.


flare fat and cellulite

contorted into the hands of strangers. My reliable self.

I feel they are following me on the streets at night.

I feel their breath in the back of my neck & pelvis.

do it. do it. do it. why do you do it? why don’t you do it?

Stay safe! Don’t have kids

Come on, girl, break the cycle of pain passed down from one

generation to another!

only you have control over your body.

only you tell it to stop. you come whenever you want. if you want.

an unwanted pregnancy is the first step

towards restricting

or even losing one’s


“nada” in Bosnian

not in Spanish

it’s either hope

or nothing

something invisible and indivisible to cling to

possibly an organism that has been genetically modified so that it does not reproduce

it only reproduces all the regurgitated clichés

of a generation whose power and hot water

was cut off every night

in order to save money

who queued for several decades and

thought the only more dignified thing to do was to listen to Europe,

to “Radio Free Europe” and to make stupid jokes

about an inept dictator

who dreamed of putting Romania on the world map next to Iran

when his people dreamed of only a little heat in the radiators

in his matchboxes

all of them mingled in our history small dreams big dreams

meat dreams with

wet geopolitical dreams

you need more electricity to see reality

they dreamed of meat and chocolate and bananas and oranges

and now you only dream of state-settled vasectomies

surgeries to reduce the reproductive appetite

minimally invasive removal of the biological clock of the brain

you are the descendant of a colony of witches who

denied their uterus

welcome to my life, prosecutors of empathy

I need to re-teach my body to be safe

We are a society born


from underage girls

and educated by retirees and social workers.

Himalayan women drink apricot wine and can give birth even at 65

years old.

A culture of abuse

gives birth to women who no longer want to give birth

who no longer want to take part in the abuse.

I eat instead of cutting my veins.

I am sensitive I have an aversion to violent and radical acts

I prefer something warm like choosing to slowly bury myself in

narcissism and helplessness

it’s just a nervous system more prone to burnout

under certain circumstances, abortion is a civic duty

I always unwrapped the rotten part of an orange.

Only the rotten part of an orange.

And from this part I said no.

there are only three types - primipara, multiparous, nulliparous.

in their medical records I am nulliparous

- by that I mean that I never gave birth.

to me our best friends are

the condom, the IUD, the injectable contraceptives or

the surgical sterilisation.

our grandmothers were grand multiparous - over five births

wow, what a flick-flack in just one generation!

we are the first women in Romania

that have children when we want.

we know we don’t have to be a replica of what

The men from the Romanian Orthodox Church in our country

The men from the Romanian Academy

The men who are CEOs

The men from the National Bank

The men in the Writers’ Union

The male cosmetic surgeons


it’s cool to be nulliparous

you have no worries and you have more free time

but you have an increased risk of breast cancer

it’s a barter

you gain freedom along with cervical cancer

Read more

‘I don’t want my ovaries:’ 3 poems on child-freedom by Romanian poet Miruna Vlada

‘The best weapons against dreams’: 2 poems on Ceaușescu’s orphans

‘I don’t want my ovaries:’ 3 poems on child-freedom by Romanian poet Miruna Vlada

‘A feminist in my own way:’ Romanian writer Magda Cârneci on her novel FEM

‘I don’t want my ovaries:’ 3 poems on child-freedom by Romanian poet Miruna Vlada

‘I’m from a tricky Diaspora:’ 2 poems on migrant identity by Romanian-American Cristina A. Bejan