Mihai Eminescu

1850 - 1889

M. Eminescu (his proper name was M. Eminovici
- pron.: Eminovitch) is regarded as the national
poet of Romania. Born in Botosani (pron.: Botoshan),
he died at the age of 38 years in Bukarest, suffering
from paralysis the last five years of his life.
From 1869 to 1874 he studied philosophy in Vienna
and Berlin, later on working as librarian, superinten-
dent of elementary schools and newspaper editor.
In his short life he could not realize so many of his
literary drafts (poetries, stories, fairytales etc.).
Only a small part of his work was published during
his lifetime ("Poezii" 1883).
He was most loved for his pieces dealing with nature,
and love, and for his "lyric of thoughts ", deeply
melancholy and full of "Weltschmerz" and longing
for death. His lyric infact has a very proper and
touching melody. As he had studied the german
philosophers and poets, his work was influenced by
them (Schopenhauer). He transferred several works
of german poets like Friedrich Schiller into the Romanian
In contrary e.g. to Sándor Petöfi, the great national
poet of Hungary (see this site), Eminescu ran an academic
education: Maybe this and the fact romanian poetry´s
grammar being rather artificial and differing to a great extent
from spoken or even written (prose) language is the cause
these poems having a somewhat sophisticated touch.
Nevertheless the lyric of Eminescu, like Petöfi´s
in Hungary, is very popular and appreciated by the people -
children learn it at school.
I love his poetry since long knowing quite some of it
by heart!

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