-a versified biography by Dimitrie Olenici-

English translation and adaptation from the Romanian: Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
Design: Florin Stancu


Bucovina, Buchenland or Arboroasa is an old Romanian territory,
which belonged to the Habsburg Empire between 1775 and 1918
as the Great Dukedom of Bucovina,
and is today divided between Ukraine (the northern part)
and Romania (the southern part).
The most important astronomer born in Bucovina was probably
Vintila Siadbei (1898-1944),
who died during a bombardment in the Second World War.

One century after his birth,
another important Bucovinean astronomer, Dimitrie Olenici,
wrote a tribute in verses - rhymed and rhythmed in original -
to Vintila Siadbei’s life,
and read it at the commemoration of his centenary
at the Falticeni railroad station.


When you were born in a small railroad station,
A train started to announce in the country
That a nova appeared to shine exemplarily. (1898.05.15/27)

Opening the doors of life,
You took the school-leaving examination in Husi (1917)
Then you were a smart student
In the cultural town of Iasi. (1919)
You followed your dream
And went to study astronomy
In Paris (1927)
And also studied photometry
In Vienna,
But coming back to Iasi,
You were not accepted for the doctorate
Because sometimes the goods among the Romanians
Are like the flowers among the thorns.
Then you went to Bucharest (1939)
To make a thesis about meteors,
And passionately taught students,
Becoming a lecturer. (1940)

You were admired by Germans,
Who published your works in their magazines. (1925)
Your works were also published in French journals (1928, 1931)
But too rarely in Romanian annals!

Resuming your opera,
We can note:
You studied the comets of Finsler and Ensser
And calculated precisely their orbits.
When the weather did not present complications,
You observed lunar eclipses,
Nebulae running through spaces,
And Beta Cygni shining through variations,
You traced the curve of Hercules’ nova
And made so many other good things
And remarkable calculations.

A short life,
But a testimony
In the service of astronomy.

Today we thank you for all
And speak about you,
Sad that you died in Zlatna,
In a bombarded refuge. (1944.04.01)

Your return to the ether
Will always remain a mystery.
Thus, in your native railroad station,
We put a tablet (1998.10.17)
For your memory.

And we shall beg good God
To rest your soul in the heavens
And to keep you in touch
With the stars
That you loved so much!

Photo (Total Lunar Eclipse 2008) by Dimitrie Olenici


Dimitrie Olenici is a teacher of physics who works at Planetarium Suceava.
He published hundreds of articles on astronomy
(from old traditions to modern researches),
participated at conferences on 3 continents
with his studies on Foucault’s Pendulum,
presented a poster with meteor traditions in the north of Romania
at the International Meteor (Organization) Conference 2000
in Pucioasa (Romania)
and a poster with Romanian solar traditions
at the International Astronomical Union Symposium 260
at UNESCO-Paris in 2009.
One of his photographs was published by Sky Weather.
In 2000s, he built a private astronomical observatory
in the Bucovinean village of Horodnic,
which became the headquarters of a yearly Perseid festival.

Dimitrie Olenici (first in the left) as the organizer
of a Perseid Festival in 2004 in Bucovina


-biografie versificata de Dimitrie Olenici-

Cand te-ai nascut la Falticeni in mica gara
Porni un tren sa duca veste-n tara
Ca s-a nascut o nova exemplara. (15/27.05.1898)
Crescand pasind prin ale vietii usi
Ti-ai dat bacalaureatu-n targ la Husi. (1917)
Student destept la Iasi la facultate
Ai asistat colegii mici sa-nvete carte (1919)
Si cum in viata omul are-un vis
Plecasi sa-nveti astronomie la Paris (1927)
Si la Viena dupa cum se stie
Ai studiat ceva fotometrie.
Dar revenind la Iasi toba de carte
Sa dai un doctorat n-ai avut parte
C-asa e uneori pe la romani,
Cei buni sunt ca o floare printre spini.
Cu mult succes ai revenit apoi la Bucuresti (1939)
O teza despre neteori sa dovedesti.
Studentilor vorbindu-le cu zel si har
Ai fost numit curand conferentiar. (1940)

Ba chiar si nemtii mult te-au admirat
Si in Zeitschrift-urile lor te-au publicat. (1925)
Si la frantuji te afli prin jurnale (1928, 1931)
Si la romani arare prin anale.

Si-n rezumat acum opera ta
Se poate astfel consemna:
Cometele lui Finsler si lui Ensser tu le-ai studiat
Si-a lor orbite bine le-ai mai calculat,
Iar cand a fost vreme mai buna
Privit-ai la eclipse-n Luna
Si nebuloasele cum fug prin spatii
Si cum straluce Beta Cygni-n variatii.
Trasat-ai curba novei din Hercule
Si ai scris carti si alte lucruri bune.
Pacat ca ai avut o scurta viata,
Dar ne-ai lasat o opera mareata,
Exemplu pentru noi sa fie
Ce va sa-nsemne-a sti astronomie.
Acuma noi cu drag iti multumim
Si-n gara mica-o placa-ti tintuim. (17.10.1998)

Si cand paharele-n curand le vom ciocni
Noi tot de tine iarasi vom vorbi
Cum in refugiu-acela blestemat
La Zlatna dus ai fost si nu te-ai inturnat (1944.04.01)
Iar calea-ti de intoarcere-n eter
Ramane si acuma un mister.
Un strop de vin pe jos vom revarsa
Zicand sa fie-n amintirea ta.

Si-l vom ruga pe bunul Dumnezeu
Sa odihneasca-n cer sufletul tau
Cu dreptii sa te-aseze printre stele
Ca tare drag ti-a fost tie de ele!


© 2009 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)