Rain / Plouă – George Bacovia

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Da, plouă cum n-am mai văzut…
Şi grele tălăngi adormite,
Cum sună sub şuri învechite!
Cum sună în sufletu-mi mut!
Yes, it rains as I have never seen…
And heavy cowbells asleep,
How they ring in olden sheds!
How they ring in my speechless soul!
Oh, plânsul tălăngii când plouă! Oh, the bells‘ lamentation in rain!
Şi ce enervare pe gând!
Ce zi primitivă de tină!
O bolnavă fată vecină
Răcneşte la ploaie, râzând…
How my thoughts get darkened
What a primitive day of muddiness!
A neighbour’s sick girl
Keeps screaming in the rain, laughing then
Oh, plânsul tălăngii când plouă! Oh, the bells‘ lamentation in rain!
Da, plouă… şi sună umil
Ca tot ce-i iubire şi ură —
Cu-o muzică tristă, de gură,
Pe-aproape s-aude-un copil.
Yes, it rains… like all that is love
And hate, it‘s a humble sound —
A child can be heard close at hand,
Sad music comes from his mouth.
Oh, plânsul tălăngii când plouă! Oh, the bells‘ lamentation in rain!
Ce basme tălăngile spun!
Ce lume-aşa goală de vise!
… Şi cum să nu plângi în abise,
Da, cum să nu mori şi nebun.
What fairy tells escape from the bells!
Such an empty dreamless world!
… And how can you not cry in the abyss
Yes, how can you not die a madman?
Oh, plânsul tălăngii când plouă! Oh, the bells‘ lamentation in rain!
George Bacovia

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A short commentary

This poem is so Gothic that if it was a bleeding human, the blood would have been black.
The rain so explicitly repeated in this poetry talks about despair, pain and rage, and death is ever present in the form of the abyss, the coughing girl and the mourning heavens.
The sky is weeping for us and the ringing cowbells remind us of the church bells that ring when a person has passed away. Who ever has read Nietzsche knows his most famous saying that we can see replicated in this poem:

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
“Beyond Good and Evil”, Aphorism 146 (1886).

This means that the mad man has come and has stared into the abyss filled with monsters and he’s crying too, dying slowly.


George Bacovia

was a Romanian symbolist poet. While he initially belonged to the local Symbolist movement, his poetry came to be seen as a precursor of Romanian Modernism and eventually established him in critical esteem alongside Tudor Arghezi, Lucian Blaga and Ion Barbu as one of the most important interwar Romanian poets.

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