Posted on 2017-03-06 Category Culture
Romanian literature given the world many gifted writers, unfortunately insufficiently translated in other languages, if at all I will name here Ion Creanga, Ion Luca Caragiale, George Cosbuc, Nichita Stanescu, Adrian Paunescu or the genius Mihai Eminescu.
I will put in the next lines three poems of Mihai Eminescu and George Cosbuc, to give an idea about Romanian poetry.
We want land
by George Cosbuc
a poem about the poor peasant from Romania of the XIXth century
I'm hungry, naked, homeless, though,
Because of loads I had to carry;
You've spat on me, and hit me - marry,
A dog I've been to you!
Vile lord, whom winds brought to this land,
If hell itself gives you free hand
To tread us down and make us bleed,
We will endure both load and need,
The plough and harness yet take heed,
We ask for land!
Whene'er you see a crust of bread,
Though brown and stale, we see no more;
You drag our sons to ruthless war,
Our daughters to your bed.
You curse what we hold dear and grand,
Faith and compassion you have banned;
Our children starve with want and chill
And we go mad with pity, still
We'd bear the grinding of your mill,
Had we but land!
You've turned into a field of corn
The village graveyard, and we plough
And dig out bones and weep and mourn
Oh, had we ne'er been born!
For those are bones of our own bone,
But you don't care, o hearts of stone!
Out of our house you drive us now,
And dig our dead out of their grave;
A silent corner of their own
The land we crave!
Besides, we want to know for sure
That we, too, shall together lie,
That on the day on which we die,
You will not mock the poor.
The orphans, those to us so dear,
Who o'er a grave would shed a tear,
Won't know the ditches where we rot;
We've been denied a burial plot
Though we are Christians, are we not?
We ask for land, d'you hear?
Nor have we time to say a prayer,
For time is in your power too;
A soul is all we have, and you
Much you do care!
You've sworn to rob us of the right
To tell our grievances outright;
You give us torture when we shout,
Unheard-of torture, chain and clout
And lead when, dead tired, we cry out:
For land we'll fight!
What is it you've here buried? Say!
Corn? Maize? We have forbears and mothers,
We, fathers, sisters dear and brothers!
Unwished - for guests, away!
Our land is holy, rich and brave,
It is our cradle and our grave;
We have defended it with sweat
And blood, and bitter tears have wet
Each palm of it - so, don't forget:
'Tis land we crave!
We can no more endure the goads,
No more the hunger, the disasters
That follow on the heels of masters
Picked from the roads!
God grant that we shall not demand
Your hated blood instead of land!
When hunger will untie our ties
And poverty will make us rise.
E'en in your grave we will chastise
You and your band!
by Mihai Eminescu
Water lilies load all over
The blue lake amid the woods,
That imparts, while in white circles
Startling, to a boat its moods.
And along the strands I'm passing
Listening, waiting, in unrest,
That she from the reeds may issue
And fall, gently, on my breast;
That we may jump in the little
Boat, while water's voices whelm
All our feelings; that enchanted
I may drop my oars and helm;
That all charmed we may be floating
While moon's kindly light surrounds
Us, winds cause the reeds to rustle
And the waving water sounds.
But she does not come; abandoned,
Vainly I endure and sigh
Lonely, as the water lilies
On the blue lake ever lie.
by Mihai Eminescu
"O remain, dear one, I love you,
Stay with me in my fair land,
For your dreamings and your longings
Only I can understand.
You, who like a prince reclining
Over the pool with heaven starred;
You who gaze up from the water
With such earnest deep regard.
Stay, for where the lapping wavelets
Shake the tall and tasselled grass,
I will make you hear in secret
How the furtive chamois pass.
Oh, I see you wrapped in magic,
Hear your murmur low and sweet,
As you break the shallow water
With your slender naked feet;
See you thus amidst the ripples
Which the moon's pale beams engage,
And your years seem but an instant,
And each instant seems an age."
Thus spake the woods in soft entreaty;
Arching boughs above me bent,
But I whistled high, and laughing
Out into the open went.
Now though even I roamed that country
How could I its charm recall...
Where has boyhood gone, I wonder,
With its pool and woods and all?