Romanian poets.

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!


The Lake

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.


O Remain

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?