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Romanian Poetries - Scrisoarea I

06.10.15 10:50

Mihai Eminescu
(english)
Scrisoarea I
Cnd cu gene ostenite sara suflu-n lumnare,
Doar ceasornicul urmeaz lung-a timpului crare,
Cci perdelele-ntr-o parte cnd le dai, si n odaie
Luna vars peste toate voluptoasa ei vpaie,
Ea din noaptea amintirii o vecie-ntreag scoate
De dureri pe care ns le simtim ca-n vis pe toate.
Lun tu, stpn-a mrii, pe a lumii bolt luneci
Si gndirilor dnd viat, suferintele ntuneci;
Mii pustiuri scnteiaz sub lumina ta fecioar,
Si cti codri-ascund n umbr strlucire de izvoar!
Peste cte mii de valuri stpnirea ta strbate,
Cnd plutesti pe misctoarea mrilor singurtate!
Cte trmuri nflorite, ce palate, si cetti,
Strbtute de-al tu farmec, tie singur-ti arti!
Si n cte mii de case lin ptruns-ai prin feresti,
Cte frunti pline de gnduri, gnditoare le privesti!
Vezi pe-un rege ce-mpnzeste globu-n planuri pe un veac,
Cnd la ziua cea de mne abia cuget-un sarac...
Desi trepte osebite le-au iesit din urna sortii
Deopotriv-i stpneste raza ta si geniul mortii;
La acelasi sir de patimi deopotriv fiind robi,
Fie slabi, fie puternici, fie genii ori neghiobi!
Unul caut-n oglind de-si bucleaz al su pr,
Altul cauta n lume si n vreme adevr,
De pe galbenele file el adun mii de coji,
A lor nume trectoare le nseamn pe rboj;
Iar altu-mparte lumea de pe scndura trbii,
Socotind ct aur marea poart-n negrele-i corbii,
Iar colo btrnul dascl cu-a lui hain roas-n coate,
ntr-un calcul fr capt tot socoate si socoate
Si de frig la piept si-ncheie tremurnd halatul vechi,
si nfund gtu-n guler si bumbacul n urechi;
Uscativ asa cum este, grbovit si de nimic,
Universul fr margini e n degetul lui mic,
Cci sub frunte-i viitorul si trecutul se ncheag,
Noapte-adnc-a veciniciei el n siruri o dezleag;
Precum Atlas n vehime sprijinea cerul pe umr
Asa sprijin el lumea si vecia ntr-un numr.
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Seite 1 von 8

Romanian Poetries - Scrisoarea I

06.10.15 10:50

Pe cnd luna straluceste peste-a tomurilor bracuri,


ntr-o clip-l poart gndul ndrt cu mii de veacuri,
La-nceput pe cnd fiint nu era nici nefiint,
Pe cnd totul era lips de viat si voint,
Cnd nu s-ascundea nimica, desi tot era ascuns...
Cnd ptruns de sine nsusi odihnea cel neptruns.
Fu prpastie? Genune? Fu noian ntins de ap?
N-a fost lume priceput si nici minte s-o priceap,
Cci era un ntuneric ca o mare fr-o raz,
Dar nici de vzut nu fuse si nici ochiu care s o vaz.
Umbra celor nefcute nu-ncepuse-a se desface,
Si n sine mpcarea stpnea eterna pace!...
Dar deodat-un punct se misc... cel nti si singur. Iat-l
Cum din chaos face mum, iar el devine Tatl...
Punctu-acela de miscare, mult mai slab ca boaba spumii,
E stpnul fr margini peste marginile lumii...
De-atunci negura etern se desface n fsii,
De atunci rsare lumea, lun, soare si stihii...
De atunci si pn astzi colonii de lumi pierdute
Vin din sure vi de chaos pe crri necunoscute
Si n roiuri luminoase izvornd din infinit,
Sunt atrase n viat de un dor nemrginit.
Iar n lumea asta mare, noi copii ai lumii mici,
Facem pe pmntul nostru musunoaie de furnici;
Microscopice popoare, regi, osteni si nvtati
Ne succedem generatii si ne credem minunati;
Musti de-o zi pe-o lume mic de se msur cu cotul,
n cea nemrginire ne-nvrtim uitnd cu totul
Cum ca lume asta-ntreag e o clipa suspendat,
C-ndrtu-i si-nainte ntuneric se arat.
Precum pulberea se joac n imperiul unei raze,
Mii de fire viorie ce cu raza nceteaz,
Astfel, ntr-a vecinciei noapte pururea adnc,
Avem clipa, avem raza, care tot mai tine nc...
Cum s-o stinge, totul piere, ca o umbr-n ntuneric,
Cci e vis al nefiintii universul cel himeric...
n prezent cugettorul nu-si opreste a s minte,
Ci-ntr-o clip gndu-l duce mii de veacuri nainte;
Soarele, ce azi e mndru, el al vede trist si ros
Cum se-nchide c o ran printre nori ntunecosi,
Cum planetii toti ngheat si s-azvrl cu toti n spat
Ei, din frnele luminii si ai soarelui scpati;
Iar catapetesma lumii n adnc s-au nnegrit,
Ca si frunzele de toamn toate stelele-au pierit;
Timpul mort si-ntinde trupul si devine vecinicie,
Cci nimic nu se ntmpl n ntinderea pustie,
Si n noaptea nefiintii totul cade, totul tace,
Cci in sine mpcat rencep etern pace...
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Romanian Poetries - Scrisoarea I

06.10.15 10:50

***
ncepnd cu talpa nssi a multimii omenesti
Si suind n susul scrii pn' la fruntile criesti,
De a vietii LOR enigm ai vedem pe toti munciti,
Fr-a sti s spunem care ar fi mai nenorociti...
UNUL e n toti, tot astfel precum UNA e n toate,
De asupra tuturora se ridic cine poate,
Pe cnd altii stnd n umbr si cu inima smerit
Nestiuti se pierd n tain ca si spuma nezrit -Ce-o s-i pese soarte-i oarbe ce vor EI su ce gndesc?...
Ca si vntu-n valuri trece peste traiul omenesc.
Fericeasc-l scriitorul, toat lumea recunoasc-l...
Ce-o s aib din acestea pentru el btrnul dascl?
Nemurire, se v zice. Este drept ca viata-ntreag,
Ca si iedera de-un arbor, de-o idee i se leag.
"De-oi muri -- si zice-n sine -- al meu nume o s-l poarte
Secolii din gur-n gur si l-or duce mai departe,
De a pururi, pretutindeni, n ungherul unor crieri
Si-or gsi, cu al meu nume, adpost a mele scrieri!"
O, srmane! tii tu minte cte-n lume-ai auzit,
Ce-ti trecu pe dinainte, cte singur ai vorbit?
Prea putin. De ici, de colo de imagine-o fsie,
Vreo o umbr de gndire, ori un petec de hrtie;
Si cnd propria ta viat singur n-o stii pe de rost,
O s-si bat altii capul s-o ptrunz cum a fost?
Poate vreun pedant cu ochii cei verzui, peste un veac,
Printre tomuri brcuite, asezat si el, un brac,
Aticismul limbii tale o s-l pun la cntri,
Colbul ridicat din carte-ti l-o sufl din ochelari
Si te-o strnge-n dou siruri, asezndu-te la coad,
n vro not prizrit sub o pagin neroad.
Poti zidi o lume-ntreag, poti s-o sfar&atile;mi... orice-ai spune,
Peste toate o lopat de trn se depune.
Mna care-au dorit sceptrul universului si gnduri
Ce-au cuprins tot universul, ncap bine-n patru scnduri...
Or s vie pe-a ta urm n convoi de-nmormntare,
Splendid ca o ironie cu priviri nepstoare...
Iar de-asupra tuturora va vorbi vrun mititel,
Nu slvindu-te pe tine... lustruindu-se pe el
Sub a numelui tu umbr. Iat tot ce te asteapt.
Ba s vezi... posteritatea este nc si mai dreapt.
Neputnd s te ajung, crezi c-or vrea s te admire?
Ei vor aplaud desigur biografia subtire
Care s-o-ncerc s-arate c n-ai fost vrun lucru mare,
C-ai fost om cum sunt si dnsii... Mgulit e fiecare
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Romanian Poetries - Scrisoarea I

06.10.15 10:50

C n-ai fost mai mult ca dnsul. Si prostatecele nri


Si le umfl orisicine n savante adunri
Cnd de tine se vorbeste. S-a-nteles de mai nainte
C-o ironic grimas s te laude-n cuvinte.
Astfel ncput pe mna a oricrui, te va drege,
Rele-or zice c sunt toate cte nu vor ntelege...
Dar afar de acestea vor cta vietii tale
S-i gseasc pete multe, rutti si mici scandale -Astea toate te-apropie de dnsii... Nu lumina
Ce n lume-ai revrsat-o, ci pcatele si vina,
Oboseala, slbiciunea, toate relele ce sunt
ntr-un mod fatal legate de o mn de pmnt;
Toate micile mizerii unui suflet chinuit
Mult mai mult ai vor atrage dect tot ce ai gndit.
***
ntre ziduri, printre arbori ce se scutur de floare,
Cum revars luna plin linistita ei splendoare!
Si n noaptea amintirii mii de doruri ea ne scoate;
Amortit li-i durerea, le simtim ca-n vis pe toate,
Cci n propria-ne lume ea deschide poarta-ntrrii
Si ridic mii de umbre dup stilul lumnrii...
Mii pustiuri scnteiaz sub lumina ta fecioar,
Si cti codri-ascund n umbr strlucire de izvoar!
Peste cte mii de valuri stpnirea ta strbate,
Cnd plutesti pe misctoarea mrilor singurtate,
Si pe toti ce-n ast lume sunt supusi puterii sortii
Deopotriv-i stpneste raza ta si geniul mortii!
("Convorbiri literare", XIV, 1881, 1 februarie, nr. 11.)

First Epistle
When, at night, with drooping eyelids, I blow out the candles flare,
Time's unending path is followed only by the old clock there;
For just draw aside the curtains and the moon will flood the room
With a fire of passions summoned by the ardours of her gloom;
From the night of recollection she will resurrect an eon
Of distress - which we, however, sense as in a dreamlike paean.
Moon, arch-mistress of the ocean, you glide o'er the planet's sphere,
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Romanian Poetries - Scrisoarea I

06.10.15 10:50

You give light to thoughts unthought -of and eclipse sorrow and fear;
Oh, how many derserts glimmer under your soft virgin light
And how many woods o'ershadow brooks and rivers burning bright!
Legion is the name of billows you dispose of as you please,
When you sail upon the ever restless solitude of seas;
Of resplendent climes, of gardens, palaces and castles old,
Which you impregnate with magic and to your own view unfold;
of the dwellings that you enter tiptoe by the window-pane
To gaze thoughtfully at foreheads that so many thoughts enchain!
A king's plans enmesh the planet for a century or more,
While the pauper hardly thinks of what his morrow has in store.
Though the dice of Fate have to them meted different rungs and ways,
Both submit to the same biddings of Death's genius and her rays;
Be they weak or be they mighty, unintelligent or clever.
All do minister to passions and their bondsmen are forever.
One is looking for the mirror, purposing to curl his mane,
One - for truth, hoping to find it in the space and time mundane.
From the yellow leaves he gathers relics of forgotten lore
Whose short-living Latin labels he will tally on the score.
One divides up the whole Terra at the counter of his stall,
Checking how much gold the oceans bear in their ships black and tall.
Over there an aged teacher, with his elbows jutting out
Through the threadbare jacket, reckons and the sums cause him to pout.
Shivering with cold he buttons his old dressing-gown austere,
Thrusts his neck into the collar and the cotton in his ear.
Skinny as he is and hunch-backed, a most wretched ne'er-do-well,
He has in his little finger all the world, heaven and hell;
For behind his brow are looming both the future and the past,
And eternity's thick darkness hell' unravel at long last.
As, of old, mythical Atlas propped the skies upon his shoulder,
He props universe and Chronos in a number - which is bolder...
While the moon is shining over mouldy books-stacks penned by sages
Thinking takes him back through thousands upon thousands of hoar ages
To the very first, when being and non-being were nought still,
When there was but utter absence of both life-impulse and will,
When unopen there was nothing, although everything was hidden,'
When, by His own self pervaded, resting lay the Allforbidden.
Was it an abyss? a chasm? wat'ry plains without an end?
There was no estate of wisdom, nor a mind to comprehend.
For the darkness was as solid as is still the shadows' ocean,
And no eyes, had there been any, could have formed of it a notion.
Of the unmade things the shadows had not yet begun to gleam
And, with its own self-contented, peace eternal reigned supreme.
Suddenly, a dot starts moving - the primeval, lonely Other...
It becomes the father potent, of the void it makes the mother.
Weaker than a drop of water, this small dot that moves and bounds
Is the unrestricted ruler of the world's unbounded bounds.
Ever since the vasty dimness has been splitting slice by slice,
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Romanian Poetries - Scrisoarea I

06.10.15 10:50

Ever since come into being earth, sun, moon, light, heat, and ice.
Ever since up to the present gallaxies of planets lost
Follow up mysterious courses, chaos-bred and chaos-tossed,
And in endlessness begotten, endless swarms of light are thronging
Towards life, for ever driven by an infinite of longing;
And in this great world, we, children of a world grotesquely small,
Raise upon our tiny planet anthills to o'ertop the All,
Lilliputian kings and peoples, soldiers, unread, erudite,
We engender generations, reckoning ourselves full bright!
One-day moths upon a mudball measeurable with the chip,
We rotate in the great vastness and forget 'twixt cup and lip
That this world is really nothing but a moment caught in light,
That behind, or else before it, all that one can see is night.
Just like whirls of dust and powder thousands of live granules play
In a glorious ray's dominion and pass over with the ray.
Thus against the never-failing night of time without a bound,
The spontaneous ray, the moment, still fails not to go the round;
When it dies, all dies - like shadows melting in the murky distance
For the universe chimeric is a dream of non-existence.
Nowadays a thinker's judgement is restricted by no tether;
He projects it in a moment over centuries together.
To his eye the sun all-glorious is a red orb wrapt in shrouds,
Closing like a bleeding ulcer among all-darkening clouds,
He sees how the heavenly bodies in vast spaces freeze and run,
Rebels that have torn the fetters of the dazzling light and sun;
And, behold, the world's foundation is now blackened to the core,
And the stars, like leaves in autumn, flicker out and are no more,
Lifeless Time distends his body and becomes endless duration,
Because nothing ever happens in the boundless desolation;
In the night of non-existence all is crumbled, all are slain,
And, in keeping with its nature, peace eternal reigns again.
***
Starting with the very bottom of the busy human hive
And ascending on the ladder to the mightiest kings alive,
Everybody by the riddle of his being is obsessed,
But, alas, there is no telling which of them is more unblest.
In each one there is a woman, in each one there is a man,
And above all other people only risses he who can,
While the rest, in darkness keeping, every one a fearful gnome,
Lose themselves in utter secret, like the never-sighted foam.
Much, indeed, will blind Fate notice what they do, or think or know!
Over human life it passes like the wind, blow after blow.
Let the writers laud his merits, let the world cry out "Allhail!"
To the aged teacher, really, is all this of much avail?
He will be - perhaps - immortal. His life clung, we must agree,
To a single great idea, like the ivy to a tree.
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Romanian Poetries - Scrisoarea I

06.10.15 10:50

"If I die", he says pro sibi, "centuries may come and go,
For my name shall be remembered and to time shall ever grow.
Everywhere and in all ages, with my name on titles signed,
Shall my writings find a shelter in the corners of some mind."
Oh, poor soul! Can you remember what you've heard the million say?
What has come around you, what yourself have talked away?
Much too little. Here you've noted of some imagery a strip,
There the shred of an idea, there the scribble on a scrip;
Well then, if your own existence was a mystery to you,
Why should others rack their five wits and its secrecy undo?
After centuries a green-eyed pedant, squeezed by shelf on shelf
Of dilapidated volumes, stooping - an old crock himself - ,
Will appraise the atticism of your language and your style,
Blow from his worn-out eye-glasses the dust raised by your wise pile,
And compress you to a sentence, carrying you off the stage
By some ignominious footnote that winds up a silly page.
You may build a world, or wreck it, but, whatever you would say,
Everything at last is buried under shovelfuls of clay.
Hands that coveted the sceptre of the universe, ideals
That would scan the whole creation, find their size in four fir-deals.
The procession queues behind you in the old funeral wise,
Splendid as a walking sarcasm gazing with indifferent eyes.
High above the rest, a pygmy will then set out to discourse,
Not to emphasize your merits but to praise his own, of course;
For your name is just a pretext. That is all you can expect.
The succeeding generations are, well, even more "correct".
Failing to attain your compass, will they show their admiration?
Sure, they will applaud the slender biographical narration
Which attempts to prove that never have you been a man that mattered,
That you were just like the others. Everybody is much flattered
If you are not his superior. Everybody will be able
To dilate his stupid nostrils at a scholars' council-table
When your person is his topic. He projected long ago
With ironical grimaces to extol you high and low.
In this way you will be playing into everybody's hands;
He will say that all is wicked who but little understands...
Furthermore, they will endeavour to anatomize your morals,
To find blemishes and mischiefs, petty scandals, petty quarrels, All of which will surely draw you nearer to them. Not the light
You have to the world imparted, but your sins, your guilt, your spite,
Tiredness, ill-health, or weakness, anything that is unworth
And is fatally inherent in a mortal lump of earth.
All the pretty smarts and worries of a much tormented mind
Will attract them more than any plans you have ever designed.
***
Among walls, and trees, and blossoms that are falling white and tender,
How the full moon is diffusing her own calm and radiant splendour!
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Romanian Poetries - Scrisoarea I

06.10.15 10:50

From the night of recollection myriads of longings beam


And their pain is mitigated' we feel them as in a dream,
For she opens wide the entrance to our inner world of doubt,
Conjuring a host of shadows when the candlelight is out.
Oh, how many deserts glimmer under your soft virgin light,
And how many woods o'ershadow brooks and rivers burning bright!
Legion is the name of billows you dispose of as you please,
When you sail over the ever restless solitude of seas;
And all those who in their lifetime are subjected to Fate's ways
Must submit to the same biddings of Death's genius and your rays!
(Translated by Leon Levitchi)

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