It is so good that you are, it is such a wonder that I am …“
wrote the delicate , regretted-- Nichita Stanescu. This is, I think,
one of the most beautiful and deepest love declarations, because it
has within with heavenly discretion God Himself, the spring of endless
wonderment . What a wonder that I am, what a wonder that you are…It
is so good that we are!
It is this wonderment that a young man feels when walking among things,
careful not to hurt himself. This wonderment is cause of joy and of
pain, it brings together or it takes apart.
The young man turns his head in the middle of things, pushed from
childhood like a fearful soldier on his first parachute jump. The
young man clumsily kicks things, things kick him back in their chaotic
movement , the young man hides his pain, looking with an awkward smile
at the strangers around.
Among these dreadful and cold things which are carried by the pulley
of a de - eternalized time, the splendid face of the other appears
to the young man, the splendid face of a woman; “ It is so good
that you are, It is such a wonder that I am”…
This walk among things coincides with the drifting apart from parents,
as he leaves for another city to study. It is the time everybody awaits
for, the time of adventure and of novelty, the time of growing up.
It is the time of separating one’s life in two, it is, if you
will, a new life, a birth one attends to holding his breath. It is
the time of new friendships, for many – of the first true friendships.
It is a time of which we heard so many curious things from our older
The first day in school, the new teachers, the new classmates, the
hungry eyes that seek the colleague of their home dreams, the one
he has been waiting a long time to fall in love with. “ The
Freshman Ball ” – discussions, preparations, prognosis
Oh! The single young lady in a dorm room, bent over a sink full of
unwashed dishes, enviously picking her eyebrows. She has a Brad Pitt
poster above her bed, a sheet of paper that says: “ If you can
, I will !” On the iron shelf, mixed with xeroxed courses, magazines
full of man and women she knows nothing about. Light creeps between
the clothes hanged out to dry and the jars with home-cooked meals,
falling on the beds sin was committed in. How new this kind of solitude
This young lady still lives in the world of american movies, posters
and Pro TV advertisements. She has fitting clothes, hairdo and shoes..
She even knows american sayings she uses in her conversation. She
has a boyfriend, actually this guy that keeps bugging her but he is
not good enough for her.
He is a nice guy , he can take the ”lotus” position and
lifts his foot above his head. He is a little tough, although he has
not been in a fight yet .He has a ” Zippo” lighter …
This is about the baggage a contemporary young man takes along with
his first steps in his sentimental life . These young people will
hang together for a while on the terraces, drinking coffee and smoking
expensive cigarettes bought by piece or they may embrace each other
shamelessly in the first disco club or at the first party.
Modern young people’s drama is greater than that of the predecessors.
I think there was no other time in history when love be so devoid
of poetry. I don’t mean the Christian virtues of chastity or
even abstinence, I mean at least the poetry of heathen Greeks or Romans,
which inspired up until not long ago feelings of admiration for women,
they put her on a pedestal – though temporarily, nevertheless
worthier than the pathetic position the woman of today is in.
Today love declarations have become a disgrace, they are considered
a useless and trivial foreplay we only hear in bad comedies with back-up
laughter in the background .Our ideals are the fast bikers out of
american movies and the girls in high boots who give themselves to
them while the tank is being filled up . We apply to our life sick
directors’ fantasies about visitors from other planets or times
who seduce us with their coldness.
In is rather that young people refrain from these animal coitions
, but not give up love words. Love words are the ones that truly bring
us together, who sweep us away from time and death, that gradually
make us humans out of animals. They are not those obscene words lovers
in cheap movies tell each other, they are mostly the joy one experiences
in the presence of the other. Let the other one know his presence
rejoices you and leave with him the waves of time for the ocean of
eternity in the innocent boat of a Stanescu – like declaration.
You don’t necessarily have to tell her you have never seen eyes
so beautiful so you come to decompose her piece by piece with your
compliments. We are beautiful because god made us so, He deserve all
praises. Saint Ciprian of Carthage said: ”If you should have
one reason to take pride in your body, it would be if it were ripped
for Christ” . Shortly, chase away covet from your heart and
every word you will say will be a love word, because he who is invaded
by covet praises meaninglessly and is not worth taking into consideration.
When you are covetous keep silent so that your words would not sound
like a drunkard’s burping and ruin everything.
One cannot make a young man give up the characteristic amusements
of his age and read the Parents of the Church, although Patristic
works are full of creating energy and dynamic and meant for young
people par excellence. But at least he could give up the grossness
pouring down out of TV sets and the today hits. Give up the ideal
of the masked superman the kick – boxing supermodel falls in
This is not meant to restrain your relationships , but to keep you
together and avoid painful break-ups.
You had better read good poetry that our people’s poets wrote
plenty: Eminescu, Stanescu, Bacovia, Blaga. They will teach you to
meditate upon this simple happening as Blaga used to call it . You
will travel with them towards the borders of time and death, because
true poets have always placed erotic feelings near the death that
hunts us all. This is what literary critique denominates the Eros-Thanatos
poetry, such as these verses Bacovia wrore
are a few deadmen in town, my darling
This is the reason I came here – to say
That in the town the heat is decomposing
The corpses on the coffin tables.
So are the living decomposing
Walking the clay that in the heat is sweating
There are a few deadmen in town, my darling
Today even your breast seems to be lowering.
Love is the supreme emotion and it must base and feed on deep thoughts,
worthy of the fruit they bear. These fundamental themes are death,
life, time, eternity beyond which God dwells surrounded with love.
The young preoccupied with such thoughts will give up easily the arrogant
coldness of TV heroes, preferring the lowliness and kindness of the
truly strong men which are pouring plenty of love since they have
We are people and people long for words of endearment andof compassion
that would snatch us from solitude, however much we fight to seem
tougher and “of a different kind”. “For we all are
sons of the Almighty (Ps 81,6) creatures so wonderful ( Ps 138,14).
Young people left the Church to experience an imaginary freedom for
themselves, but ended up harnessed at the heavy wagon of solitude,
killing jealousies and break-ups that hurt a lifetime. They set out
to learn about love, leaving the One Who is Love. “He Who built
the ear will not hear ? He who bult the eye shall not see ? “
( Ps 93, 9) David the prophet askes. Does He who is Love not know
to teach you love?
Women is nowhere more risen than in Church, she is loved by her husband
as Christ loved the Church ( Ephesians 5,25) that is to say to self
sacrifice. She is the living icon of God. Therefore the words of a
contemporary Romanian poet , addressed to a Christian young man, kindly
warning him are extraordinary : “Son, pay attention , when you
are to give your chosen one your first kiss, imagine you are to kiss
an icon of God”. No one has ever filmed such a kiss and shown
it on TV screens.
Marcel Maureau, a contemporary French writer, notes sadly in his diary
(“ Speech against Obstacles”) that kissing your beloved
in public is to share her with the others. Blessed is he who has become
his girls’ sole sweetheart.
Beyond this, there is solitude and death, growing old and breaking
up. Then later when memories is all there is left, the today couples
who met in the cruel lights of stroboscopes , who told each other
arrogant and harsh lines in a public phone receiver will not be able
to tell each other these verses Blaga wrote:
We will remember late, some day
This happening that is so simple
The bench we sit upon today
Hot temple by my temple
most, maybe this English poem I quote from memory , a poem that many
of the women that lost their first love are living , have lived and
it is with sorrow that I say it , will live:
suppose this town.
In this town let’s suppose a house.
And in this house let’s suppose a room
And in this room let’s suppose somebody
Sitting in the dark
Sitting and crying
For somebody who has just left and killed the light
Forgetting she is there.
forgiveness from my readers because I cannot tell the author’s
name, as I no longer read poetry. I only remember it is a grey- white
covered book, most probably entitled “Three English Contemporary
poets”, surely translated by Mircea Ivanescu.
For those who want to read it, Blaga’s poem is “ The flower
man gives himself to waste..”, and Bacovia’s – “
Translated from Romanian by Diana Apetri