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Branka Babic

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RE: Eminescu
10/13/2009 7:45:23 PM

Mihail Eminescu

Goddess Venus or Aphrodite

Venus and Madonna

Oh, ideal lost in night-mists of a vanished universe:
People who would think in legends - all a world who spoke in verse;
I can see and think and hear you - youthful scout which gently nods
From a sky with different starlights, other Edens, other gods.

Venus made of blood-warm marble, stony eyes which often flash,
You embodied in a goddess woman's beauty, charm and dash:
Arms as soft as is the thinking of an emp'ror born a poet;
Woman's own divine attraction, still enticing as I saw it.

Raphael enwrapped in dreaming as below a starry sky
- Just a spirit drunk with light-rays and with Springs that never die -
Saw you and thus dreamed of Eden - flowery and redolent, -
Saw you as a queen of heaven, 'mong the angels' marriment,

And upon the empty canvas traced the God-Star of the Sea,
With a star-adorned tiara, with her bland smile, maidenly,
Pale complexion framed by gold rays - angel-like yet feminine:
After woman have been modelled angels in the vaults serene.

Thus myself, lost in the darkness of a life bent on the lyre,
Noticed you - a shallow woman, poor in soul and poor in fire -
And I wrought from you an angel, gentle as the magic day,
When, upon a life laid barren, blandly smiles a lucky ray.

Seeing that your face was pallid with a sickly drunkenness
And your lips turned purple, bitten by corruption and excess;
Cruel one, I cast upon you poetry's veil - white and dense
Covering your morbid pallour with the beams of innocence,

I had given you the pale rays which pour, magic and unreal,
On the brow of genius-angels, of angel turned ideal;
I changed demon into vestal, giggles into symphony,
And your leering sidelong glanced into the Aurora's glee.

But by now the veil has fallen! Tearing me from dreams of bliss
You are sobering my forehead with the frost-bite of your kiss
Now I'm looking at you, demon, and my love - quenched, cold, forlorn,
Teaches me to look upon you with the icy eye of scorn.

You appear as a bacchante who has stolen by deceit
Martyrdom's green wreath of myrtle mingled with a maiden's pleat
Holy was the Virgin's spirit, prayer's very counterpart,
While a long spasmodic frenzy pictures the bacchante's heart.

Oh, as Raphael created our God-Star of the Sea,
With a star-adorned tiara, with her bland smile, maidenly,
I myself have rendered godly what was merely feminine,
Just a cold and leaden woman, barren-hearted, viperine!

Are you crying, child? - Your eyes which abjectly now supplicate -
Can they once more crush and crumble my heart of an apostate?
I have kissed your hand, I'm kneeling, searching your dark, sea-deep eyes
Asking them if you can pardon - humbly I apologize.

Wipe your eyes, abandon crying! My reproach was out of season -
Cruel, unjust accusation, lacking grounding, lacking reason.
Heart of hearts! E'en though a demon through our love you're sanctified
And I venerate this demon with fair hair, eyes opened wide.

(1870, Translated by Andrei Bantas)
Roger Macdivitt .

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RE: Eminescu
10/13/2009 9:02:48 PM


Great to see you back and posting forums.

I shall read and enjoy this poets work.

I have much to learn.


Peter Fogel

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RE: Eminescu
10/14/2009 6:31:58 AM

Hi AnaMaria,

I'm glad you found some time to post again here in Adland.

Eminescu certainly has a way with words and in fact hits the nail on the head with his poem. How many ineffectuals write just for the sake of writing and in essence say absolutely nothing? Gibberish is abounding and many fall under the spell of that gibberish and gain "guru" status cos no one really understands what they're trying to say and are afraid to admit it.

Oh well, nuff said and thanks for sharing this amazing man with us and his contributions to the world.




To My Critics

Many the buds that come to flower,
Though to bear fruit scarce any at all;
Youth beats on the gates of blooming,
Yet how many blossoms fall.


It is easy to write verses
When you have not what to tell,
Stinging words and hollow phrases
In a gangling doggerel.


But the day one's heart is flooded,
Yearnings deep and passions dear,
Truth that speaks a thousand voices,
How should one to each give ear?


Like the budding at life's gateway
Thoughts beat eager on the mind,
Claiming loud to life an entrance,
Claiming being of mankind.


How then when upspringing passion,
Wild emotions in one rise,
How should one find sober judgement?
How retain impassive eyes?


Ah, one feels that then in thunder
Round one's head the heavens roll;
How should man find true expression
To describe his teeming soul?

Critics, you of sterile blossom,
Where's the fire that in you stirred?
It is easy to write verses
Out of nothing but the word.

Translated by

Corneliu M. Popescu

Peter Fogel
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Judy Woodson

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RE: Eminescu
10/14/2009 3:30:02 PM

Anamaria! How wonderful this is.

I wasn't aware of this person at all before...and the poetry is truly grand. In To My Critics the translator has managed to convey a different language and  mindset even in English.

And Sleepy Birds sings me to sleep like a lullaby.

I won't even elaborate on frost-bite of a kiss....won't forget it either.

Thanks so much for sharing. It's really good to see you.


Ana Maria Padurean

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RE: Eminescu
10/20/2009 12:50:53 PM
Hello Branka :-)

Thank you for your contribution to this thread and for encouraging me to post more about him and his works (and helping me with this)

He was most loved for his pieces dealing with nature, love and for his "lyric of thoughts", deeply melancholic and full of "Weltshmerz" and longing for death. In fact his lyrics have a proper and touching melody, rhythm and cadence.
The poem you choose: Sleepy Birds or Drowsy Birds is a very good exemple
Here is another version of the same poem accompanied by the romanian version sung by The Romanian Choir "Madrigal" - hope you'll like it :-)

I'll be back with more ;-)

With friendship,


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