Love has no boundaries. Anyone can find their favorite poetry through the work of Mihai Eminescu.
In Romania, as well as in the Republic of Moldova, children study the poetry of Mihai Eminescu from a young age. He is the most beloved poet for Romanians of all ages. For in his poems we find the emotions we experience at different stages of life. However, we can say that the first significant spark between readers and Eminescu’s poetry appears in the adolescent period, when love leads to its biggest headaches.
Eminescu’s work has been translated into several languages. Specifically, in 150 languages distributed in over 250 countries. In German, during his lifetime, the Rumänische Dichtungen collection was published in three editions between 1881 and 1889, by the queen-poet Carmen Sylva, in collaboration with Mite Kremnitz. Out of 20 poems by Eminescu translated into German, the queen (who appreciated him “moderately”) translated only 3, Mite Kremnitz, instead, 17 (including the most famous pieces: Evening Star, Doina, Letter III).
Beyond his unparalleled work, there are many aspects of his life less known to the public.
Eminescu tended to create a semi-circle universe. On this semicircle, having as horizons the birth and death of the world, between which stretched the arc of universal history.
Eminescu was, of course, a romantic. His love affairs, as well as the spices of bohemian life, have also been the subject of extensive controversy in the public sphere since the poet’s lifetime. Disturbingly handsome, conquering, a singer with a golden voice, a heavy smoker, a great coffee lover and a borderless partygoer, but also a patriot for whom “Long live the nation!” was the only greeting. This is how the researchers rediscovered the man who was Mihai Eminescu.
The historians who studied Mihai Eminescu’s work and life say that he impressed at first sight, he had an extraordinary charisma and a very pleasant physique. I would also say that what really impressed people about the poet was his voice. He sang very nicely. Little is known about this talent of Eminescu. He could have been a good vocal soloist at any time. He often accompanied the fiddlers at a party, but his relatives also asked him to sing to them.
After the age of 25, the poet began to face his own demons. The fire of creation, the often-precarious life he led, and disturbances of the soul caused the poet to acquire a serious mental disorder. Eminescu suffered from bipolar disorder. It manifested itself in halves. Of course, Eminescu’s genius did not cause this condition and the disease did not condition his genius either. They were completely independent. He probably ended up in this situation because of the living conditions of a certain period. The poet did not receive adequate treatment either. There were no effective treatments at that time. The Viennese doctors to whom he was taken also confirmed this diagnosis. In Romania, he was put into barrels filled with cold water when the conditions worsened.
The poet Mihai Eminescu died on the morning of June 15, 1889, in the Sanatorium of Mental Illnesses of Doctor Şuţu, in Bucharest. His death did not match his creation. He died in a shabby robe, on a metal hospital bed, locked in his “cell” in the hospital. Just minutes before he passed away, he only wanted a glass of milk and moral support.
Mihai Eminescu wrote poetry until his death. When he was taken away for autopsy, the robe in which the poet had died was taken by his admirers. In one of the pockets was a small notebook. On it were written his last poems: “Life” and “Stars in the sky”.
“The Evening Star of Romanian poetry” sparked a real revolution in Romanian and universal literature. Dying at the age of thirty-three, Eminescu left behind an great body of work composed of poetry and prose. But flipping through his manuscripts reveals an Eminescu planning great lyrical and dramatic compositions, a poet with aspirations of greatness, perhaps such as Goethe.
Written by Lucia Tăut