-an essay by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe-

Design (including photos:

1. Mercury, the first planet from the Sun

2. Mars, the first exterior planet)

by Gabriel Ivanescu





The visible planets always inspired poets,

although until Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)

launched the heliocentric theory,

Galileo Galilee (1564-1642)

revolutionized observational astronomy by using a lunette,

and Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

launched the laws of planetary motion,

the people were “prisoners” to the antique system of

Aristotle and Ptolemy,

in which the Earth was the centre of the Universe, 

and the Sun and Moon were considered planets,

together with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn,

followed by the 8th sky, of the fixed stars.


In Romanian literature,

Dosoftei (1624-1693,

the Metropolitan of the state of Moldavia or Moldova)

was still influenced by the church belief in the geocentric system

when he dedicated some verses (in 1684) to the flag of Moldavia

(now its emblem is a part of the flag of united Romania),

including a bull head (signifying the constellation Taurus),

the Sun and Moon, and a star (signifying the planet Venus):


…it caries a golden crown

Between his bullhorns.

Three planets stay together there:

The Sun, Moon and ornamental Venus.


Two decades later (1705),

Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723,

ruler of the same state of Moldavia in 1710-1711

and a great writer and scientist)

cursed all planets known at that time in his “Hieroglyphic History”,

enumerating them after the days of the week

(Tuesday in Romanian = Marti for Mars,

Wednesday in Romanian = Miercuri for Mercury,

Thursday in Romanian = Joi for Jupiter,

Friday in Romanian = Vineri for Venus,

Saturday in Romanian = Sambata for Saturn):


Mars refreshing in infirmity,

Mercury ceasing to be a speaker among the planets,

Jupiter changing his monarchy into slavery,

Venus withering her flourishing beauty,

Saturn lowering his chair…   


On the contrary, two centuries later,

Ion Pillat (1891-1945)

realized a rather merry vision in “Planetary Circus”:



shares his fiery destiny



in a ballerina costume 




wielding his satellites with a whip…  


It is interesting that he did not forget the two new planets

discovered by William Herschel (in 1781)

and Urbain Le Verrier (in 1846):


Uranus and Neptune throw themselves towards the stars…


and also tried a space portrait of the Earth:


Terra, a forgotten star,

Keeping in hands the cold body of the dead moon…


In the meantime (1908, “Orion” magazine),

the astronomer-poet Alexandru Anestin

poetized the brightest planets visible from the Earth:


Saturn, a priceless and fantastic wonder

Adorned by a glacial silver scarf.

Jupiter with Venus, kept

Loyally together by their destiny,

And snagged on the strong and glorious king

Who carries all our system to the suns of Hercules.


But the most passionate modern poet of the planets was

Ion Barbu (1895-1961,

this name being the pseudonym of the famous mathematician

Dan Barbilian).

Thus, his poem “Rhythms to the Necessary Weddings”

(“Second Game”, 1930)

is a fascinating astronomic-mathematic-hermetic avant-garde dedication

to the interior planets:


Year of Gaia, prison,

Avoiding the interior wheels:

The wheel of Venus

Of the heart,

The wheel of Mercury

The head,

In melting, in azure,

The wheel of

The Great Sun.  


More about Venus:


To the throne of soft Venus

Suddenly, like all young lovers,

I ardently vibrated.

Wake up you




Mass, make room in the bracelet

To my game,

For the buffoon dance

With reverences

And mechanical cadences.


Oh ingrate

Degraded energy,

Brute brusquely undoing

The simple group of the orbit,



In a minimum ripple:


Aphelion (alpha)

Perihelion (beta)

Conjunctive (dodo)

Opponent (adieu!).


More about Mercury:


Mercury, a golden body,

Adorned with two long bristles

With pouches

Of big blind eyes

Of researcher.


And more about both of them:


Page of Venus



In your negated crystal

To that smoked “Fra Mercur”

Of pure omen

Over angels, snakes and Heaven,

It sounds old:

I-Ro-La-Come On!




Oh Mercury

Pure brother

Conceived from a living mystery

By the maiden Lucifer.

Inclined to chaste waters

Into iconoclast confrontations,

A head built

From a taboo wave


Up there, on the petrified Century.


Oh select


We did not celebrate the wedding…


“maiden Lucifer” being an allusion to the planet Venus -

the “evening or morning star” (Luceafar in the Romanian language).


In another poem, “Guardians” (also “Second Game”, 1930),

Ion Barbu makes a poetical “review” of

the planets exterior to the Earth’s revolution:


High connection,

Efficient guard for weddings,

Road and Book

For the sombre crab of Mars,

That body

For Jupiter,

Saturn peculiarly belted,

Uranus like a selvedge,

Neptune like an addition…




Before the end, let’s think a little

of the most beautiful planet for the earthlings’ vision,

thanks to another Romanian important poet,

George Bacovia (1881-1957):


The violet aurora

Rains dewdrops of colors.

Venus, full of shivers,

Seems to be a living violet.   


And finally, two visions about the planets

by the greatest Romanian poets.


A philosophical one:


… their motion assembles,

All of them down, all of them around the sun,

Making a corona.

Thus, the light has clotted from the night

Because they have caught light from motion

And the sky resists through non-repose…

-Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889)-


and a homocentric one:


We have forced the moon and a few other heavenly bodies

to move around

our hearts.

-Lucian Blaga (1895-1961)-




-Al. Dima, “Cosmic Vision in Romanian Poetry”,

Junimea, Iasi (Romania), 1982

-Ion Holban, “Sun, Moon, and Evening Star”,

Hyperion, Chisinau (Moldavian Republic), 1991

-various Romanian poetry anthologies

© 2007 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)