Friday, 15 January 2016

Mihai Eminescu, Romanian National Poet

A late Romantic poet, Mihai Eminescu (born Mihail Eminovici) was influenced in his creation by Schopenhauer's philosophy and, also via Schopenhauer, by Hindu and Buddhist writings. Although his style was behind European tendencies, Mihai Eminescu boosted Romanian literature to a level never reached before.

More about Eminescu here


Days go past, and days come still,
All is old and all is new,
What is well and what is ill,
You imagine and construe
Do not hope and do not fear,
Waves that leap like waves must fall;
Should they praise or should they jeer,
Look but coldly on it all.

Things you'll meet of many a kind,
Sights and sounds, and tales no end,
But to keep them all in mind
Who would bother to attend?...
Very little does it matter,
If you can yourself fulfil,
That with idle, empty chatter
Days go past and days come still.

Little heed the lofty ranging
That cold logic does display
To explain the endless changing
Of this pageantry of joy,
And which out of death is growing
But to last an hour or two;
For the mind profoundly knowing
All is old and all is new.

As before some troupe of actors,
You before the world remain;
Act they Gods, or malefactors,
'Tis but they dressed up again.
And their loving and their slaying,
Sit apart and watch, until
You will see behind their playing
What is well and what is ill.

What has been and what to be
Are but of a page each part
Which the world to read is free.
Yet who knows them off by heart?
All that was and is to come
Prospers in the present too,
But its narrow modicum
You imagine and construe.

With the selfsame scales and gauges
This great universe to weigh,
Man has been for thousand ages
Sometimes sad and sometimes gay;
Other masks, the same old story,
Players pass and reappear,
Broken promises of glory;
Do not hope and do not fear.

Do not hope when greed is staring
O'er the bridge that luck has flung,
These are fools for not despairing,
On their brows though stars are hung;
Do not fear if one or other
Does his comrades deep enthral,
Do not let him call you brother,
Waves that leap like waves must fall.

Like the sirens' silver singing
Men spread nets to catch their prey,
Up and down the curtain swinging
Midst a whirlwind of display.
Leave them room without resistance,
Nor their commentaries cheer,
Hearing only from a distance,
Should they praise or should they jeer.

If they touch you, do not tarry,
Should they curse you, hold your tongue,
All your counsel must miscarry
Knowing who you are among.
Let them muse and let them mingle,
Let them pass both great and small;
Unattached and calm and single,
Look but coldly on it all.

Look but coldly on it all,
Should they praise or should they jeer;
Waves that leap like waves must fall,
Do not hope and do not fear.
You imagine and construe
What is well and what is ill;
All is old and all is new,
Days go past and days come still.

Translated by

Corneliu M. Popescu

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Music Is For The Spirit, Not For The Legs!

My idea about music education (can be expanded to art education or...just education) came to results. My sister and her husband usually listen to pop-rock music. Something to remind them of youth. Well, being in vacation with them, I let the Mezzo channel play from time to time. For those who don't know, Mezzo is a classical music channel. What was the result? Not only that my sister and her husband remembered this kind of music exists and started to play also this channel, especially to protect themselves against the bad and vulgar music from the neighborhood, but my niece asked questions about instruments and...she took the violin and asked me to teach her!!! Also, my brother-in-law remarked that Händel's Messiah it is a lot "better" than the walzes of Strauss.

So music it is not about like- not like a certain genre, but about being aware that something deep, beautiful, divine exists. Just like in spirituality. So, expose yourself and your children to classical music (European or Indian, or both, doesn't matter). THIS one is for the spirit, not for the legs!

Some resist through culture, some resist to culture. Saying that art is for specialists is like believing that doctors should only treat doctors and the food is only for the cook