Fanciful Verse


A waltz

Cried from afar…

It was sometimes heard

In the sad hours.


A demonic infinity

And bitter ironies,

Pain that echoed

In solitary shadows.

George Bacovia, Verset fantast

translated from Romanian by Marcel Rus

About Friendship

Friendship is a tacit contract between two sensitive and virtuous people. I say sensitive because a monk, a solitary may not be a bad man and yet he lives without knowing what friendship is.


 Charlotte Yealey – Sing Along

 I say virtuous because the bad people have only accomplices, voluptuous people have only comrades for lechery, interested people have associates, politicians gather rebels, lazy man has connections, and princes have courtiers. Only virtuous people have friends.

Cethegus was Catiline’s accomplice, and Maecenas was Octavianus’s courtier; but Cicero was a friend of Atticus.

What does this contract between two affectionate and honest souls mean ? Obligations are higher or lower depending on the degree of sensitivity of souls and the number of favors made, etc.

The enthusiasm of friendship was stronger to the Greeks and the Arabs than it is now to us. The stories of friendship, invented by these nations, are wonderful; we do not have any like, we are devoid of depth.

To the Greeks, friendship was a religious and a legislative matter. The people of Thebes had a regiment of lovers: beautiful regiment ! Some said it was a Sodomite regiment. But they were mistaken, for it was as if they had taken what was secondary as the principal.

Greek friendship was prescribed by law and religion. Unfortunately, homosexuality was tolerated by morals, but we must not reproach the law for these shameful abuses. But we shall have the opportunity to talk about it.

from Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique

The Cloud


Beyond the obsession railway

There is a white chapel,

A silver cloud,

A “bushy silver” in which

I shall surely disappear.

There was someone who

Taught me this way

To the rescue cloud, but now

He will say that

The student has surpassed his master.

He said

That innocence responds to innocence,

And that in exasperation

The disappearance in the silver cloud

Can happen.

But the cloud takes you

Only when it wants,

So let me disappear

Without despair,

My love.

Ioana Diaconescu, Norul

translated from Romanian by Marcel Rus

Kafka’s Stories – The Everyday Absurdity

Kafka’s singular and strange work expresses the protest of the isolated man against the crushing of his personality by the hostile forces of society. Kafka depicts man’s despondent destiny.


Franz  Kafka

His artistic vision is hallucinating, grotesque, penetrated by restlessness and resignation, and from which the aspirations towards a better fate, to a humanist ideal sometimes echo, but they are quickly stifled by the hostile environment.

His stories and novels express the drama of the existence of ordinary man, a man exposed to the oppression of the monstrous bureaucratic state apparatus, his impossibility to decipher the meaning of his existence in society and the dehumanization of family relations.

Dramatic tension and nightmare vision are characteristics of Kafka’s work, being determined by the alternation of the real and the fantastic plans, overlapping absurdity over perfectly logical and rational elements.

The preliminary study of Kafka’s stories is a useful exercise in understanding his novels. The Judgment is a drama of sensibility until near to its end. Georg Bendemann enters his father’s room, being full of endless affection and caution. He stripes him and then puts his father in bed, but the old man has a senile dementia crisis and accuses his son of ingratitude and falsity, then pronounces the sentence: “I blame you for death by drowning”.

Until here we are on the ground of the most authentic reality, but suddenly it goes into the absurd field through a surprising change of plans. Georg is hallucinated and as he climbs the parapet of the nearby river, then he throws himself in the water saying the words: “Dear parents, I still loved you”.


With The Metamorphosis the story suddenly enters the fantastic, incredible field. The  vendor Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning and finds that he has been metamorphosed in a horrific millipede. It’s easy to imagine the stupor of his parents and sister when they saw what Gregor turned into. He is avoided and isolated in his room, which has soon been transformed wasteful warehouse. Gregor dies in silence and suffering.

In the Penal Colony an explorer is taken by an officer to the execution venue where a convict will be executed. The verdict was given by the officer who is also the judge, and the convict will be executed by a torture machine. The explorer declares himself against such methods, saying that he will protest in front of the commander. Then the officer releases the prisoner and he executes himself, but the machine is defective and increases his pain.

Being a precursor of existentialism, Kafka included in his writings surrealist and expressionist elements. His work is a continuous allegory that is crossed by myths and symbols of disorientation and despair resulting from the obsession of the immunity of a world whose objective mechanism cannot be understood by its heroes.

from Ovidiu Dramba, Franz Kafka


The Sign


At the beginning was the wind,

Then the rain

And the moment was made by itself

In cohorts of fear and shadows

At the border between night and day

In an uncertain confluence with luck.

Then, even the saints

Have returned among us,

Being white,



Having fish faces,

With hair curls of grass,

With bodies of flint;

Their immeasurable pride,

Of course, the pride betrays them.

Ecaterina Staicu, Semnul

translated from Romanian by Marcel Rus


Responsibility – An Unsolved Problem

Most people who believe in what is called free will do this by using the rationalist method. It is a principle, a positive feature, or a virtue added to the man by which his dignity grows enigmatically.

asbone He must believe in it for this reason. Determinists who deny it, who say that people are not the origin of anything but they only transmit to the future the whole influence of the past world, a world for which they are nothing, diminish man. He is less worthy of admiration if he is deprived of this creative principle.

So that both free will and determinism were blamed and declared absurd because each of them prevented the attribution of good and bad facts to their authors, as the opponents of these principles believed. Strange antinomy is this !

Free will means novelty, inoculation in the root of the past of something that has not been there. If our deeds were too determined, if we were merely to convey the influence of the whole past, the free will advocates say, then how could we be praised or rebuked for something we did ? In this case we would be just the intermediaries and not the main authors. And where is our precious responsibility here, the responsibility that allows us to be reprimanded ? But where would it be if we had free will ? replied the determinists.

If a free deed is an absolute novelty that does not come from me, from my inner self, but ex nihilo (from nothing), and it clings to me, then how can I, the former, be responsible ?

How can I have a permanent feature that will remain the same long enough to receive praise or rebuke ?

My day’s gospel is scattered in a bunch of beads unrelated to each other as soon as the thread of inner necessity is brought out by the absurd indeterminist doctrine.

from William James, Pragmatism  – adaptation

Dies Irae


How strange I am from my country,

And no longing missed me,

Bad thought, and dark

Closes the voice of the right.


It will be late that day…

And in my way haunts

Silences of time, sinister hungry !

Or songs that always cry:

“Hurry, don’t wait anymore !”

George Bacovia, Dies Irae


dies irae = day of wrath (Latin)



There is a story that has crossed the spaces and times: the one about the sailors who land on an island that has no name, the island that then sinks and takes them to death, because it is alive.

This figment appears in Sinbad’s first book and in the sixth chat of Orlando Furioso, in the Irish legend of St. Brandon and in the Greek bestiary of Alexandria, in A Description of the Northern Peoples (Rome, 1555) of the Swedish poet Olaf Magnus and in that passage from the first chant of Paradise Lost in which the immovable Satan is presented as a giant whale sleeping on Norwegian sea waters.

Paradoxically, one of the first versions of the legend tells the story to show that it is not true. This is the Book of Animals by Al-Yahiz, a nineteenth-century Muslim zoologist. Miguel Asin Palacios translated it into Spanish with these words:

“As for Zaratan, I have never met anyone who says he saw it with his eyes. Some sailors claim that they have sometimes approached certain islands from the sea where there were forests and valleys and passes, and that they lit a pyre there. And when the fire came to the back of Zaratan, it started to slip on the waters with them above and with all the plants on it, so only the one who managed to escape in time was able to save himself. This story surpasses any of the most fabulous and daring relating”.

Let’s look at a 13th century text now. It is written by the cosmographer Al-Quazwini and comes from the work entitled Wonders of Creation. It says so:

“As for the sea turtle, it is so unimaginable enormous that the people on the ship thought it was an island. One of the merchants told: << We have discovered at sea an island that rises above the water and we land on it; there we dug pits to prepare our food, but the island began to move, and the sailors left on the ship cried out: Come back, for it is a turtle. The heat of fire has awakened it, and it can kill us. >>”.

In the Anglo-Saxon bestiary in the Exter Book Codex the dangerous island began to move and the monks were scared and fled to people. They had built up their tents on the island and wanted to rest after the tiring work at sea. Suddenly the Oceanfriend sank and the sailors drowned.

Zaratan also symbolizes the Devil and the Evil. It would keep this symbolic value in Moby Dickwhich would be written ten centuries later.

Jose Luis Borges, El zaratan


But a Song Comes From Somewhere Far Away


I don’t know what’s going on around,

Maybe the trees sing their anxiety in the wood,

Maybe all birds are looking for a voice

Stolen by the nightingale a long time ago.


And their anxiety comes to me

Carried by the wind like a breeze.


I don’t know what’s going on around,

But a song comes from somewhere far away.


I don’t know what’s going on,

Trees, or birds, or you…

But a song comes from somewhere far away.

Mircea M. Pop, Dar vine de undeva de departe un cântec

translated from Romanian by Marcel Rus


Philosophy Is Immortality

The child laughs: “My wisdom and love are the game”.

The youth sings: “My game and wisdom are the love”.

The old man is silent: “My love and game are the wisdom”.

Lucian Blaga, Poems


We used to say that it was not in our power to choose our parents, that they were given us by chance: but we, the philosophers, are allowed to be born as we wish. The most famous personalities form families: choose the one you want to be part of. You will receive both their praise and possessions that you will not have to keep them for your greed or pettiness. These will increase the more you share them more.

They will open you a path to eternity and raise you to a place where no one has collapsed. This is the only way to overcome the mortal state and even turn it into immortality.

Honors, monuments, all the verdicts given by the ambitions or all the works made by it are falling apart soon; anything can be ruined or collapsed by long ages. But to those whom wisdom consecrated, it cannot touch them anymore.

Therefore, the life of the wise man will take a long time. He is not closed in the same boundaries as the others. He alone is freed from the laws of mankind. All centuries obey him as a god.

Is it about a past time ? The wise man will include it through his memories. The present ? He uses it. How about the future, he already enjoys it. Uniting all these moments makes his life longer.

from Seneca, The Eulogy of Philosophy

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