Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pavel's latest eccentric project is to learn Romanian. Why Romanian? one might ask. Well, we'll just call it a labor of love.

O, ra˘mâi

"O, ra˘mâi, ra˘mâi la mine,
Te iubesc atât de mult!
Ale tale doruri toate
Numai eu s¸tiu sa˘ le-ascult;
În al umbrei întuneric
Te asama˘n unui print¸,
Ce se uit-adânc în ape
Cu ochi negri s¸i cumint¸i;
S¸i prin vuietul de valuri,
Prin mis¸carea naltei ierbi,
Eu te fac s-auzi în taina˘
Mersul cârdului de cerbi;
Eu te va˘d ra˘pit de farmec
Cum îngâni cu glas domol,
În a apei stra˘lucire
Întinzând piciorul gol
S¸i privind în luna plina˘
La va˘paia de pe lacuri,
Anii ta˘i se par ca clipe,
Clipe dulci se par ca veacuri."
Astfel zise lin pa˘durea,
Bolt¸i asupra˘-mi cla˘tinând;
S¸uieram l-a ei chemare
S¸-am ies¸it în câmp râzând.
Asta˘zi chiar de m-as¸ întoarce
A-nt¸elege n-o mai pot...
Unde es¸ti, copila˘rie,
Cu pa˘durea ta cu tot?

-Mihai Eminescu

O Remain

"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 tasseled 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 breqk 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?

(Translated by Corneliu M. Popescu)


Couple things:

1.) I love this poem because it reminds me somehow of a Woody Guthrie song of longing and remembrance that always makes me cry.

2.) When I mentioned the love of a Romanian, mon ami de loin asked quite logically why anyone would bother learning Romanian as they all speak French. How to explain? "Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne comprend pas." There are languages who made their way into my being sheerly because people I love to distraction speak them. It only makes sense to want to feel a bit how someone else structures their thoughts and arranges their lips, tongues, palates.

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