Going forward to Romanian proto SF poetry,
I chose two long poems (though they are rhymed and rhythmic,
I prefer for this series to use quotations from them
in my English mot-a-mot translation)
composed by two authors with different destinies:
if Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889) has become the Romanian national poet
(of course, only after his death),
Alexandru Anestin has been ignored in Romania by a literary critique
rather hostile to speculative poetry.

Eminescu’s poem is even the masterpiece of Romanian literature,
Luceafarul (Hyperion, or The Evening Star), published in 1883.
In this poem, inspired from Romanian meteor mythology,
the main hero is a supernatural character with a stellar aspect,
who falls in love with an earthly princess.
He comes down as a fireball
and enters into her dreams as a beautiful prince,
asking her to be his wife

“I will place in your yellow hair
Coronets of stars,
And you will rise in my skies,
Prouder than them.”

But the princess rejects him because he is immortal.
So he flies through the Universe

A sky of stars below,
A sky of stars above,
He looked like an unbroken flash
Lost between them

with the speed of light

And the Way of Millennia
He crossed in seconds

to the edge of the Universe

There is no border where he goes,
Not even eyes to understand,
And time tries useless
To be born from the void

into a black hole

It is nothing, but, it is
A thirst which drinks him,
It is an abyss like
Blind forgetfulness

for a supreme meeting

“Father, liberate me
from black eternity…”

But Father of the Universe interdicts him to become a mortal for a girl

on a wondering earth

and Hyperion is condemned to remain

immortal and cold

in his superior world.

The second poem, To Infinity by Alexandru Anestin,
was published in 1908 in the astronomical magazine Orion
(edited by his brother Victor Anestin, who has remained as
the champion of popularizing astronomy in Romania, on a side,
and as the father of Romanian SF novel, on another side -
for his novel Year 4000 or A Trip To Venus, published in 1899).

Watching Sirius

a giant pearl thrown into the sky
a sky lover dreaming of immortality
with his soul to the heart of the stellar systems


an angel with diaphanous wings coming down
unveiling him with a seraphic toga of gases
and both of them, on a beam of eternal light,
dash into the clear skies

There, the hero watches

the divine sun greatly sparkling
and pouring out - on its majestic way -
cascades of light, ardent torrents
giving life…


around it, at enormous, unequal distances,
pushed on orbits by colossal forces,
the immense planets, courteous subjects
floating chained and eternally gravitating
from its magic splendor…


his soul becomes sad
when the angel shows a point lost in remoteness,
in which the human abyss lies down,
the Earth, yes, the Earth, a poor toy
which doesn’t know what it is
and what it would become.

Out of the solar system

they pass over giant empires in a second
lost constellations appear

and the two characters

go to new and double suns,
which elliptically, grandiosely gravitate in the chaos,
and bathe in waves of magic colors.


they penetrate diaphanous and pale comets,
which pass animated on an own movement,
giant phantasms of traveling hoarfrost.

Finally, a collision between two heavenly bodies,

dead suns, sad, great and opaque ruins,
tombs breaking the void’s peace
and dragging convoys of planets without life

provokes a cosmic cataclysm, and

the heap without limits is lightened
by the celestial fire.

In that moment, the hero wakes up in

the silence of the terrestrial prison


the same stars which shine silver powders

and nature’s

sumptuous praise to the creation

understands that all

was a titanic dream

and decides to dedicate his entire life to the goddess of astronomy

sculptural, eternal Urania.