‘IMPRESSIONS FROM ROMANIA’ by Manolis Aligizakis the 2017 Mihai Eminescu Academy Award Winner

Romania impressed me in an unprecedented way. Although this year’s trip was my second one, I was still amazed by the depth of culture the citizens of Craiova displayed. One day was dedicated to their most famous sculptor Constantin Brancusi whose ensemble of three works have deeply stayed with me: Brancusi’s works The Endless Column, The Gate of the Kiss, and The Silent Table which constitute an ensemble. The Endless Column symbolizes the concept of infinity and the infinite sacrifice of the Romanian soldiers; it stacks 17 rhomboidal modules, with a half-unit at the top. The incomplete top unit is thought to be the element that expresses the concept of the infinite. The Gate of the Kiss features a kiss motif on the gate pillars. It symbolizes the transition to another life that occurs through The Gate of Kiss. The Table of Silence is a circular stone table surrounded by twelve hourglass-seats, which symbolize time. The Table of Silence represents the last dinner before the Romanian men go to war.

Something else that amazed me in Romania where the people are 90 % Orthodox Christians: Their Christian Church of Saint Constantine and Saint Helen, in front of the City Hall depicts icons of saints not only inside the building but outside as well. But what intrigued me the most was that besides the Christian saints they also had icons for the ancient Greek writers, philosophers, law givers, such as Socrates, Plutarch, Thoukididis, Solon, Pythagoras, and others.

Another noteworthy impression was when I met a 7 year boy who in one week created the caricatures of 39 poets and poetesses who participated in this year’s Mihai Eminescu International Poetry Festival, held in Craiova. I told his mother, with the help of the translator, that her son one day will become a great Romanian.

Manolis Aligizakis visited Romania in August-September 2017 to participate in the Mihai Eminescu International Poetry Festival where he won the FIRST POETRY PRIZE for 2017 awarded by the Mihai Eminescu Academy in Craiova, Romania..’ More is at the link below: