Do you think it would be possible to translate it in such a way as to capture what you feel is lost…
Heath Houston
12

Oh, I wouldn’t even presume myself as having any talent for poetry, it seems to be more of a male penchant. I’m not that sensitive. I tried my hand at it as a teenager, but my inclination for cold mathematics and logic got in the way, I guess (although poetry is paradoxically that creative realm that interlaces creative imagination with mathematical structure most). It would be a challenge, though.

The translation of C. Popescu that you have is really good, but I’ll search and see if there are others that might be better or closer to the original form and feel of these two poems.

‘Of All the Ships’, for instance, appeals to me, apart from the ‘carpe diem' message of it, by Eminescu’s genius of making synecdoche work through epiphora, alliteration and the euphonia that he created (winds=vanturile, waves=valurile). He conveyed a sound message in a very ‘soundy’ way.

I’m giving you the Romanian original, which you can try and simply read (for the sound if it) — Romanian is a phonetic language, much like Latin, it has phonetic writing not an etymological one, so just try to read the letters as they are, in purely alphabetical resonance (more or less) of each letter.

Dintre sute de catarge / Care lasa malurile, / Cate oare le vor sparge / Vanturile, valurile?

Dintre pasari calatoare, / Ce strabat pamanturile / Cate-o sa le-nece oare / Vanturile, valurile?

De-i goni fie norocul, / Fie idealurile, / Te urmeaza in tot locul / Vanturile, valurile.

Nenteles ramane gandul / Ce-ti strabate canturile, / Zboara vecinic, ignorandu-l / Valurile, vanturile.