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Eternal Moments

Poetry by Mihai Eminescu

Edited by Cristian Butnariu



Table of Contents:

  1. First Epistle – page 05

  2. Sleepy Birds – page 09

  3. O, remain – page 10

  4. Why Are You Swaying Forest Trees ... – page 11

  5. Murmur of the Forest – page 12

  6. In the Middle of the Forest – page 13

  7. Eve on the Hill – page 14

  8. One Wish Alone Have I – page 14

  9. To the Star – page 15

  10. And if ... – page 16

  11. Ode (in ancient meter) – page 17

  12. Down Where the Lonely Poplars Grow – page 17

  13. The Years Have Passed ... – page 19

  14. Beats the Moon Upon ... – page 19

  15. Sonnet v1 (Venice) – page 20

  16. The Lake – page 21

  17. A Dacian’s Prayer – page 22

  18. Return – page 23

  19. Forest, O My Forest Dear – page 24

  20. Sonnet 1 – page 25

  21. Sonnet 11 – page 26

  22. Sonnet 111 – page 26

  23. Evening Star – page 27

  24. Third Epistle – page 39

  25. Gloss – page 48

  26. Mortua Est – page 50

  27. Angel and Demon – page 53

  28. Emperor and Proletarian - page 57

Editor’s Note

Mihail Eminescu  (1850-1889)

Mihail Eminescu (his proper name was M. Eminovici - pron.: Eminovitch) is regarded as the national poet of Romania. Born in Botosani (pron.: Botoshan), he died at the age of 38 years in Bucharest, suffering from paralysis the last five years of his life.
From 1869 to 1874 he studied philosophy in Vienna and Berlin, later on working as librarian, superintend- dent of elementary schools and newspaper editor.
In his short life he could not realize so many of his literary drafts (poetries, stories, fairytales etc.). Only a small part of his work was published during his lifetime.
He was most loved for his pieces dealing with nature, and love, and for his "lyric of thoughts ", deeply melancholy and full of "Weltschmerz" and longing for death. His lyric in fact has a very proper and
touching melody. As he had studied the German philosophers and poets, his work was influenced by them (Schopenhauer). He transferred several works of German poets like Friedrich Schiller into the Romanian language.
In contrary e.g. to Sándor Petöfi, the great national poet of Hungary (see this site), Eminescu ran an academic education: Maybe this and the fact Romanian poetry´s grammar being rather artificial and differing to a great extent from spoken or even written (prose) language is the cause these poems having a somewhat sophisticated touch.
Nevertheless the lyric of Eminescu, like Petöfi´s in Hungary, is very popular and appreciated by the people - children learn it at school. 
I love his poetry since long knowing quite some of it by heart!

While Eminescu is often described as the essence of the Romanian soul, modern literary language in Romania is also much indebted to him. His work encompassed every genre of poetry (love, philosophical, cosmological, mythological, historical, socio-satiric, etc.) as well as prose and journalism. Eminescu is considered Europe's last great romantic not in the least because he gave voice of such unmistakable music to the sadness of love. His legacy, however, transcends the confines of Romanticism, the literary and philosophical Western traditions, the far east influences and even the obvious imprint of the Romanian folklore. Blessed with the touch of genius, his synthesis is a personal world of meaning about the life of man and of the cosmos in archetypal images of universal worth.

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