To My Critics (Criticilor mei), by Mihai Eminescu

I published in WRITTEN a translation of Mihai Eminescu’s “Criticilor mei” (“To my critics). It is very intimidating to translate Eminescu. He’s a god of Romanian literature and his poetry technique is so perfect that a translation can only be a frustrating experience — how can you ever find the right word? I have been thinking about this poem though. I am a very unpleasant critic, I’m realizing after my latest book review, which is not the only unfavorable review I’ve ever written, if you take a look at my archives. And while I can be a harsh critic, I am also a writer, and I know how painful criticism can be for the creators who bare all they are on the page. That is why I wanted to give voice to the writer here, while I, in the critic’s hat, stand in the corner, barefoot on broken walnut husks.

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