Orpheus Comes Back


The sand flows through hourglasses

Or our blood to the gentle shimmering

Of pearl, in the twilight of the heart

Enveloping the eternally open eye. Shut up…

Where the waters have passed, they will pass again –

Orpheus comes back.


On the old traces, snowed

By an endless silence


The cherries were blizzarde by white…

And stretch over the darkness

Euridice’s eyelids.


Iosif Caraiman, Se-ntoarce Orfeu

translated from Romanian by Marcel Rus


The Simurgh


The Simurgh is an immortal bird nesting on the branches of the Tree of Knowledge. Burton compared it with the Scandinavian eagle which knows a lot of things and makes his nest on the branches of the Cosmic Tree, called Yaggdrasill.

Thalaba (1801) by Southey and The Temptation of Saint Anthony by Flaubert tell of Simorg Anka. Flaubert said it was just a servant of Queen Belkis and described it as having metallic orange feathers, human head, four wings, the claws were like those of the eagle, and having a huge tail like that of the peacock.

In the original writings the Simurgh has a more important role. In The King’s Book, which gathers and publishes old legends in Iran, Fird says it was Zal’s adoptive father; in the 13th century Farid al-Din Attar elevates it to the symbol of divinity in The Dialogue of Birds.

The subject of this allegory in The Dialogue of Birds, a book that includes 4,500 verses, is strange. The far-off king of birds, the Simurgh, lets a magic feather fall down in the middle of China. Birds decide to go in search of it because they were upset about the anarchy that was in the country. They know the meaning of its name was  “thirty birds” and that its palace is on the top of mountain that surrounds the Earth.

Only thirty of them, purified by the sufferings, eventually manage to reach the mountain of Simurgh. They contemplate it and understand that they themselves are the Simurgh, that each of them and all of them together are the Simurgh.

Cosmographer Al-Quazwini says in his book Wonders of Creation that Simorg Anka lives 1,700 years, and when its descendant grew up, father lit a pyre and burned it. This reminds us, says Lane, of the Phoenix bird legend.

Jorge Luis Borges, El simurgh

The Stars


The stars are so close to me,

When the living waters mirror them in the waves;

Gold, glass, smoke beads.


 Shadowy stars, fire stars,

The seas of the world are turned by itself;

Gold, glass, smoke beads.


And drifting waves bring them to the shore,

We ourselves are the flame, ourselves are the stars;

Gold, glass, smoke beads.

Ecaterina Staicu, Stelele

translated from Romanian by Marcel Rus

Morality and Atheism

Existentialist atheism affirms that God doesn’t exist, but then there is at least one being whose existence precedes the essence, a being that existed before being defined by a concept, and that being is man…

il_fullxfull-270453411 What is meant here by the statement that existance precedes the essence ?

This mean that man first exist, is situated, is emerging in the world, and then he is defined. As he is conceived by existentialism, man is undefined because at first he is nothing. But then he will something, and he will be what he does himself. So there is no human nature, because there is no God to create it.

Dostoievsky wrote: “If God doesn’t exist, then everything is peritted”. This is the starting point of existentialism. Indeed, everything is peritted if God doesn’t exist, and consequently man is abandoned because he finds neither in himself, nor outside, any possibility that he can cling. He can no longer apologize.

If indeed existence precedes the essence, we will never be able to explain something reffering to a established or fixed nature; in other words, there is no determinism, man is free, man is freedom.


On the other hand, if God doesn’t exist then we don’t find any value or ordinance to legitimize our behavior. Today we have neither justification, nor excuses, in the bright field of values. We are alone, without excuses.

If we suppressed God, then one has to invent the values. The things must be interpreted as they are. In fact, to say that we invent the values doesn’t mean anything: life has no established meaning. Before you live, life is nothing; but you are those who give it meaning, and values is nothing but meaning you give to life…

from J. P. Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism

Sleeping Swimmer


Now at midnight I’m worried about

the sleeping swimmer.

Better in the sleepy park of autumn

to stand with my forehead on a leaf like on a gold ingot.

Better to be in the sleeping field

while the plow comes out of the ground like a diver

to breathe near.

Better in your home with soft walls, with gentle beds,

with centuries of children.

Now at midnight I’m worried about the sleeping swimmer

in the middle of Danube.

Crap, howl in his ear, wave, tickle his soles,

the swimmer fell asleep…

George Alboiu, Inotatorul adormit

translated from Romanian by Marcel Rus


But who am I ? A thing that thinks. What’s this ? One who inquires himself, understands, says, denies, wants, doesn’t want, always imagines and feels.

cogito)Therefore, from the simple fact that I know about my existence, besides the fact I am a being who thinks, I rightly conclude that my essence lies in the fact that I am only a being who thinks.

And yet… I have a body that I’m very tied to… And on the one hand I have a distinct and clear idea that is mine as the being that thinks; and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of my body… and I’m sure I’m different from my body and I can exist without it…

But best nature teaches me that I have a body that feels pain and that’s unpleasant to it, that it needs food or drink when I suffer from hunger or thirst; so I don’t have to doubt that there is something real in this matter.


Nature shows us through our senses of pain, hunger, thirst, etc., that I’m not only present, in relation to my body, as the sailor is present on his ship, but I’m tightly tied up to the fusion of my body that I make a single thing with it.

Otherwise, when the body is hurt I  – who are only a being that thinks –  would not feel pain, but I perceive that pain only through my intellect as the sailor realizes by seeing that something cracked on the ship; and when my body needs food and drink I would understand clearly, and my senses wouldn’t be troubled by hunger and thirst.

from R. Descartes, Meditationes de prima philosophia



Again all are sad

Today, as yesterday –

Flood of pain.


And the dream dies

In the black destiny…


And better times

Don’t come, anymore,

Nor consolations…


Again all are sad

Today, as yesterday…

George Bacovia, Piano

translated from Romanian by Marcel Rus