Books & Stories

Mihai Eminescu and his heritage

Mihai Eminescu is the national poet of Romania.

 His poems will be read by young people in schools and not only for years and years to come. He was born on January 15,1850, in Botosani in the Province of Moldavia. As his is just around the corner i thought i should share with you my love for his poetry. Mihai Eminescu was highly intelligent,an avid reader,and had a wide range of interests. At the age of 14 he ran away with a theatre company and traveled throughout Romania.

 At the age of 16 he was already interested in the Romanian language and culture, and published his first poem. Between 1869-1972 , Eminescu went to Vienna to study at the University, where he enthusiastically absorbed the works of the great philosophers. in 1872 comeback briefly in Romania and published a lot of his literary work before he left the country to obtain his doctorate at the University of Berlin. In Berlin he became interested in mythology, the history of religion, law and history, and even the Sanskrit language.

Later in Romania he held he held a number of positions, including editor of the newspaper Timpul, where he gained fame and a reputation as an insightful journalist. In the meantime he continued to write and publish poetry.

Apart from his work and poetry Eminescu was indifferent to the material world, to events occurring around him and social conventions. He was indifferent to wealth or the lack of it and class distinctions. His life become unstable and often lived only on narcotics and stimulants, excesses of tobacco and coffee.

Then at the age of 33, Eminescu’s health deteriorated and he began to suffer from periodic fits of madness. He spent the last six years of his life in and out of sanitariums, boy in Romania and abroad. He died in Bucharest on 15th of June 1889.

His legacy remains and he will always be Romania national poet.

Doina, was written in 1883 and is one of Eminescu’s most explicit nationalistic poems. In it he bemoans foreign oppression of the Romanian people, referring especially to the russians and the hungarians. Because of its anti-Russian nationalist character, the poem was not allowed to be published for many years under the communist regime in Romania. In the poem Eminescu calls on Stefan cel Mare, the famous prince of Moldavia, who defended his country against the Turks, Hungarians, Poles, and Tartars in the 15th century, to rise again from his grave in the Putna Monastery in northern Moldavia, and defend his people against foreign oppression. Eminescu intended this poem for the inauguration of a statue dedicated to the renowned prince in Iasi in 1883.
Here is the version in romanian and the one in english – translation by Kurt W. Treptow and Irina Andone.
Doina the title of the poetry can be translated as SONG – traditional romanian word for song for which couldn’t find any translation.
DOINA
De la Nistru pân� la Tisa
Tot Românul plânsu-mi-s-a
Ca nu mai poate strabate
De-atâta strainatate.
Din Hotin si pân� la Mare
Vin Muscalii de-a calare,
De la Mare la Hotin
Mereu calea ne-o atin;
Din Boian la Vatra Dornii
Au umplut omida cornii
Si strainul te tot paste,
De nu te mai poti cunoaste.
Sus la munte, jos la vale
Si-au facut dusmanii cale;
Din Satmar pâna �n Sacele
Numai vaduri ca acèle.
Vai de biet Român saracul,
Indarat tot da ca racul,
Nici îi merge, nici se �ndeamna,
Nici îi este toamna toamna,
Nici e vara vara lui
Si-i strain în tara lui.
Dela Turnu �n Dorohoiu
Curg dusmanii în puhoiu
Si s�aseaza pe la noi;
Si cum vin cu drum de fier,
Toate cântecele pier,
Sboara paserile toate
De neagra strainatate.
Numai umbra spinului
La usa crestinului.
Isi desbraca tara sânul,
Codrul � frate cu Românul �
De secure se tot pleaca
Si isvoarele îi seaca �
Sarac în tara saraca!
Cine-au îndragit strainii
Mânca-i-ar inima cânii,
Mânca-i-ar casa pustia
Si neamul nemernicia.
Stefane, Maria Ta,
Tu la Putna nu mai sta,
Las� Arhimandritului
Toata grija schitului,
Lasa grija Sfintilor
In sama parintilor,
Clopotele sa le traga
Ziua �ntreaga, noaptea �ntreaga,
Doar s�a �ndura Dumnezeu
Ca sa-ti mântui neamul tau!
Tu te �nalta din mormânt
Sa te-aud din corn sunând
Si Moldova adunând.
De-i suna din corn odata,
Ai s�aduni Moldova toata,
De-i suna de doua ori
Iti vin codri �n ajutor,
De-i suna a treia oara
Toti dusmanii or sa piara
Din hotara în hotara,
Indragi-i-ar ciorile
Si spânzuratorile!
 
 
English version:
 
From Tisa to Sniester’s tide
All Romanian to me cried,
That they could no longer dwell
Amidst the foreign swell. 
From Hotin until the sea
Rides Muscovite cavalry,
On their way they’re always seen
From seashore to Hotin,
And from Dorna to Boian
Plague is spreading on and on.
The foreigner is everywhere
Like we were no longer there;
Up to mountains, down to valley
Enemies on horses rally,
From the seashore to Hotin,
They as flooding waters are.
Oh, the poor Romanians all
Like the crab they backwards crawl;
A cruel fate to the begotten
Autumn is no longer autumn,
No more summer in their hand,
Now all strangers in their land.
From Dorohoi to Turnu
Enemies in steady strew
All, together overcome you,
As they arrive by railway
All our songs they drive away,
All the birds fly out of sights
From wretched foreign plight.
Over shadows of a thorn
Are the poor Christians born,
Ravaged is the country’s face
Forests – our refuge place
Bending, their axe bide,
Even pure springs are dried,
Poor in poor countryside.
He who loves the foes about
May his heart the dogs rip out,
May desert his home efface,
May his sons live in disgrace!
Rise,O’Stephen,mighty Prince,
From sacred Putna come hence,
Let the holy Prelacy
Guard alone the monastery,
Let the saints and their deeds
In the trust of pious priests,
Let them ring the bell with might
All the day and all the night,
And may the mercy grant thee Lord
Redeem thy people from the horde.
Rise,O’Stephen, from the ground
So i may hear your horn sound
And gather all Moldavia ’round.
If you blow your horn one blare
All Moldavia will be there,
If you sound a second time
All the woods will fall in line,
If your horn is blown again
All the enemies will be slain
And our borders we regain,
That the crows may hear their cry
Above gal low trees so high.
 
Mihai Eminescu House
 
 
 

 

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