Iasi, Mihai Eminescu

One December Night

Built on seven hills, Iasi holds on to its provincial vibe to this day, although it is not anymore traversed to and fro by carriages, or wandered by poets who, in times-past, praised its charm and its great loves.
Hurrying couples cross it, pushed from behind by the merciless cold. I’m seeing my own breath in the chill of December, affixing my eyes to the fairy lights.
December is known as the jolliest month of the year. All the stores are playing happy Christmas songs in the background, so customers would buy the best presents for their dear ones, or maybe even shop for the entire year.
Just a little further from this mundane activity, the streets are quiet and lit by countless lights.
And if you dare to let all that shopping behind, you may discover that nothing compares to walking in the smouldering fog that covers the neighborhoods, and the frost that now marks your breath and quivering body.
At the base of Copou hill, near the Central University Library, stands the statue of Eminescu, created by the sculptor Ion Schmidt-Faur. Mihai Eminescu (1850 – 1889) was a romantic poet, a prose writer and a journalist. Recalling the poem “Evening Star”, the sculptor gives Eminescu the air of the main character, with the aid of an antique mantle. At the base of Eminescu’s statue, at its sides, lie sculpted a man and a woman. Some think that these statues represent Dionysus, from the poet’s short story “Wretched Dionysus”, and Veronica Micle, Eminescu’s own impossible love. In fact, in Schmidt-Faur’s own conception, the man who leans his head on his hand signifies “philosophy and wisdom”, while the woman depicts “poetry and love”. On the front of the plinth, there is a bas-relief representing “Catalin and Catalina”, the two lovers from “Evening Star”, accompanied by these verses:

“Descend to me, mild Evening-star
Thou canst glide on a beam,
Enter my forest and my mind
And o’er my good luck gleam!”

On the back of the plinth, (…)

For the entire article, please see Black Gryphon Magazine, freely available for download.

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