Biography of Tudor Arghezi
Tudor Arghezi (21 May 1880 – 14 July 1967) was a Romanian writer, best known for his contribution to poetry and children's literature. Born Ion N. Theodorescu in Bucharest (where he also died), he explained that his pen name was related to Argesis, the Latin name for the Argeş River.
He graduated from Saint Sava High School in October 1891, started working to pay for his studies, and made his debut in 1896, publishing verses in Alexandru Macedonski's magazine Liga Ortodoxă under the name Ion Theo. Soon after, Macedonski, the herald of Romanian Symbolism, publicized his praise for the young poet:
"This young man, at an age when I was still prattling verses, with an audacity that knows no boundaries, but not yet crowned by the most glittering success, parts with the entire old versification technique, with all banalities in images in ideas that have for long been judged, here and elsewhere, as a summit of poetry and art."
He began stating his admiration for Symbolism and other trends pertaining to it (such as the Vienna Secession) in his articles of the time, while polemicizing with Junimea's George Panu over the latter's critique of modernist literature. In 1904, he and Vasile Demetrius published their own magazine, Linia Dreaptă, which ceased to exist after only five issues. Arghezi, Gala Galaction, and Demetrius maintained a close friendship, as witnessed by the latter's daughter, the actress and novelist Lucia Demetrius.
After a four year-long stint as an Orthodox monk at Cernica Monastery, he traveled abroad in 1905. He visited Paris and then moved to Fribourg, where he wrote poetry and attended courses at the local University; dissatisfied with the Roman Catholic focus encouraged by the latter, he moved to Geneva, where he was employed in a jeweler's workshop. During the Romanian Peasants' Revolt of 1907, the poet, known for his left-wing discourse and vocal criticism of the violent repression of the peasant movement, was kept under surveillance by Swiss authorities; a local newspaper claimed that Arghezi's mail had been tampered with, causing a scandal that led to the resignation of several officials. News he gathered of the revolt itself left a lasting impression on Arghezi: much later, he was to dedicate an entire volume to the events (his 1907-Peizaje, "Landscapes of 1907", which he described as "dealing with [...] the contrast between a nation and an abusive, solitary, class").
Tudor Arghezi Poems
Inscription On A Glass
Round crystal on velvet shade, Serenity at my heart, I created myself from sky-waters, Froze under icicles of light.
Mount Of Olives
Mount with heaven-pointed peak, Steady in blue dream. Beaten by ancient hate With chain whips
You Had Just Left
You had just left. As I had asked. I followed you along the mellow path, Until I lost you in the clover, at the end. Not even once you turned your head.
Between Two Nights
I stuck my sharp spade into the room. Outside the wind blew, Rain fell.
The world is paved with light, Like a church with smoke and resin. Men drunk with the skies Stagger in prophets' vestments.
Perhaps It's Time
Perhaps it's time, since there falls From trees all leafage that has been and shone, To look our past calmly in the face
I'll kill my time and dreams, then. I'll mend my cloak in the dark. As thanks, I'll know that icy skies Will filter starlight through the holes.
The Sick Angel
My angel remembers Joys of former times. Sky reaches to his taste With sour milk, sharp grapes.
Through the mist today in sun Was born of chaos, dead At morning nightfall, Gray as a tent.
There you are, alone again in a cockle-shell boat, Fighting on a sea-bed with great clouds from the sky And rocked by the sea, wild beast, as if by a wet-nurse, Smothered in song by its iron paps.
I defended myself in vain; now I'm slinking away In the white moon's shade, tall spear shattered. I had put dikes of earth and water between us, And everywhere we were beside each other.
Through the mist today in sun
Was born of chaos, dead
At morning nightfall,
Gray as a tent.
While the soul descends
Melancholy across memories
Like a thin dust
Of sparks and glitter,