Eminescu – Dorinţa (Desire)

You probably know what day it was yesterday. Yep, 15th of January and I forgot to do what I do every year, which is on the anniversary of the death of the Greatest Romanian Poet, I pick a poem and translate it for you.

Just so you remember, these are the last contenders from the previous years:
Somnoroase Pasarele
Iubind in Taina
Ce e amorul?
Te duci copilarie

This year, I picked one of the loveliest of loveliest, a love poem about an enamored youth meeting his beloved in the shadow of the lime tree (always found in his poetry, always in relation to love and lust). This meeting is so tender that the first thing he wants her to do is feel her against his chest, so he can peel her voil away (girls used to wear them to cover their heads) and he will sit her on his knees and just the two of them will be blessed by a shower of flowers falling down from the tree, almost like a rain.
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Dorinţa

Vino-n codru la izvorul,
Care tremură pe prund,
Unde prispa cea de brazde
Crengi plecate o ascund

Şi în braţele-mi întinse
Să alergi, pe piept să-mi cazi,
Să-ţi desprind din creştet vălul,
Să-l ridic de pe obraz.

Pe genunchii mei şede-vei,
Vom fi singuri-singurei,
Iar în păr, înfiorate,
Or să-ţi cadă flori de tei.

Fruntea albă-n părul galbăn
Pe-al meu braţ încet s-o culci,
Lasând pradă gurii mele
Ale tale buze dulci…

Vom visa un vis ferice,
Îngâna-ne-vor c-un cânt
Singuratece izvoare,
Blânda batere de vânt ;

Adormind de armonia
Codrului bătut de gânduri,
Flori de tei deasupra noastră
Or să cadă rânduri-rânduri.

1876

Desire

Come now to the forest’s spring
Running shivering over the stones,
To where lush and grassy furrows
Hide away in curving boughs.

Then you can run into my open arms,
Be held once more in my embrace,
I’ll gently lift that veil of yours
To gaze again upon your face.

And then you can sit upon my knee,
There’s just be us two there,
While the lime tree thrilled with rapture
Showers blossoms on your hair.

Your white brow with those golden curls
Will slowly draw near to be kissed,
Yielding as prey to my greedy mouth
Those sweet, red, cherry lips . . .

We’ll dream only happy dreams
Echoed by wind’s song in the trees,
The murmur of the lonely spring,
The caressing touch of the gentle breeze.

And drowsy with this harmony
Of a forest bowed deep as in prayer,
Lime-tree petals that hang above us
Will fall in rows and rows.


The title is expressed by Dorinta (desire), coming from the word “dor” which carries a great emotional charge. The theme of this poem is the aspiration of the love fulfillment in the middle of nature. He calls her to him, imperatively, in the safe and mysterious forest. The description of the environment is alive with adjectives that bow to cover, shake with desire, embrace the new-comers. The lover imagines his much awaited moment and through the use of motion verbs the poet relies the intensity of his feelings. He is anxious to see her (thus his extended arms). It’s a secret love (thus the repetition of their alone-ness (“singuri-singurei” where “singur”=”alone”) and through the use of the adjective “flori infiorate” which literally means “shivery/shuddery flowers)

„Dorinţa” is an hymn to eternal nature and the beauty of love, combining longing, dreaming and the surrounding trees and springs.

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