Ce e amorul? Mihai Eminescu (What is love?)

I has been another year since I celebrated the birth of the great Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu. He died oh so very young but his poems live on and so does his ability to give me shivers whenever I read it out loud. Here’s one I found called “what is love?” 🙂 It’s not Haddaway – baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more. It’s better! Translation below.

What is love?
What is love?

Ce e amorul ? E un lung
Prilej pentru durere,
Caci mii de lacrimi nu-i ajung
Si tot mai multe cere.

De-un semn în treacat de la ea
El sufletul ti-l leaga,
Încât sa n-o mai poti uita
Viata ta întreaga.

Dar înca de te-asteapta-n prag
În umbra de unghere,
De se-ntâlneste drag cu drag
Cum inima ta cere:

Dispar si ceruri si pamânt
Si pieptul tau se bate,
Si totu-atârna de-un cuvânt
Soptit pe jumatate.

Te urmareste saptamâni
Un pas facut alene,
O dulce strângere de mâini,
Un tremurat de gene.

Te urmaresc luminatori
Ca soarele si luna,
Si peste zi de-atâtea ori
Si noaptea totdeauna.

Caci scris a fost ca viata ta
De doru-i sa nu-ncapa,
Caci te-a cuprins asemenea
Lianelor din apa.




Oh, the love I feel...What is love ? A lifetime spent
Of days that pain does fill,
That thousand tears can’t content,
But asks for tears still.

With but a little glance coquet
Your soul it knows to tie,
That of its spell you can’t forget
Until the day you die.

Upon your threshold does it stand,
In every nook conspire,
That you may whisper hand in hand
Your tale of heart’s aspire.

‘Till fades the very earth and sky,
Your heart completely broken,
And all the world hangs on a sigh,
A word but partly spoken.

It follows you for weeks and weeks
And in your soul assembles
The memory of blushing cheeks
And eyelash fair that trembles.

It comes to you a sudden ray
As though of starlight’s spending,
How many and many a time each day
And every night unending.

For of your life has fate decreed
That pain shall it enfold,
As does the clinging water-weed
About a swimmer hold.

translated by Corneliu M. Popescu

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