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Poetry in translation: Mihai Eminescu (LXXXIII) – Ai nostri tineri (The Nation’s Youth)

June 15th, 2011 · No Comments · Diaspora, PEOPLE, Poetry, Translations


Mihai EMINESCU (1850-1889)

Ai Nostri Tineri

Mihai Eminescu –

Ai nostri tineri la Paris învata
La gît cravatei cum se leaga nodul,
S-apoi ni vin de fericesc norodul
Cu chipul lor istet de oaie creata.

La ei îsi casca ochii sai nerodul,
Ca-i vede-n birje rasucind mustata,
Ducînd în dinti tigara lungareata…
Ei toata ziua bat de-a lungul Podul.

Vorbesc pe nas, ca saltimbanci se strîmba:
Stîlpi de bordel, de crîsme, cafenele
Si viata lor nu si-o muncesc — si-o plimba.

S-aceste marfuri fade, usurele,
Ce au uitat pîn’ si a noastra limba,
Pretind a fi pe cerul tarii: stele.



Mihai Eminescu, Memorial, Paris 5e, Photo Copyright Constantin ROMAN, June 2011


The Nation’s Youth


The Nation’s  Youth, to Paris go to study

The art of tying round its neck a  tie.

And so, to teach at home their folk the mindset,

Of being wiser than a half-baked pie.


In town, the down-and-outs look up astounded

To see them twist their whiskers in their carriage,

Or, gripping with their teeth a long Havana

When traipsing up and down, along the Passage.


Their nasal vowels smirk their clownish faces:

They prop the pillars of cafes and brothels

To show they do not earn a living, they parade it.


Yet all these air-heads vie for the impression

Expressed in their forgotten,  native language

That they are our brightest constellation.


English Version by Constantin ROMAN

(All rights reserved, copyright, 2011)

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