Oct 152009

Versiune în română

Mihai Eminescu (January 15, 1850 – June 15, 1889) was a late Romantic poet which is considered to be the most influential Romanian poet and has been crowned by many as “Romania’s national poet”. Studying his poems is required in Romanian language schools and I remember getting one of this poems as subject at my Baccalaureate exam (the high school exit exam). His portrait can be seen everywhere in Romania. He is on the 500 lei bill (leu, plural lei, is the Romanian currency) but since that is the highest denomination Romanian bill, the equivalent of 115 euros or $170 you don’t get to see many of those. Many schools and libraries in Romania are named after him and you can see statues of Eminescu everywhere in Romania – like the one in today’s photo, located in front of the Romanian Athenaeum. A few years ago there was a huge scandal when a few young Romanian writers wrote about their idea of Eminescu and against the official idolized image of the poet.

  6 Responses to “The National Poet”

  1. Perfect location for a great poet. Both your photos are very good, even if my favorite is the second: the branches and the flowers seem to reach for the monument itself.

  2. i love to read but confessed that i've never heard of this poet before,
    guess, it means i have to read more. ^-^
    your detailed info of this post made me appreciate more of the photo.
    i hope the scandal that happened way back hasn't affect the image of this romantic poet.

  3. I guess they did not wear many clothes in 19th century Romania.

  4. AB: One of the young writers that started the Eminescu controversy I was talking about in the post, makes fun of this statue saying that if any other Romanian writer would be depicted half naked people would laugh. Still nobody laughs at this statue because in the Romanian culture Eminescu has achieved a status similar to Jesus, he is like someone who started a religion.

  5. "he is like someone who started a religion"

    A religion that seems to make a big thing of linden trees, if I remember.

  6. So, you rather don't mess with Romanian national heroes. (; I wonder what Eminescu would have thought about his godlike status?

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