The Poems

Texts into film




Poems and Translations

Herbstbild by Friedrich Hebbel


Im Nebel by Hermann Hesse


Nic dwa razy by Wislawa Szymborska


Strainul by Octavian Goga


Avem Timp by Octavian Paler





Herbstbild by Friedrich Hebbel





Click on the
image above of
Wing Yin Sae Lew

to hear a reading
of the poem
in German.



Dies ist ein Herbsttag, wie ich keinen sah!
Die Luft ist still, als atmete man kaum,
Und dennoch fallen raschelnd, fern und nah,
Die schönsten Früchte ab von jedem Baum.

Oh stört sie nicht, die Feier der Natur!
Dies ist die Lese, die sie selber hält,
Denn heute löst sich von den Zweigen nur,
Was von dem milden Strahl der Sonne fällt.


Autumn Scene

This is a fall day like I never saw!
The air is still, almost of breathing free,
but here and there are falling, without flaw,
the finest-looking fruits from every tree.

Do not disturb ripe nature's holy day!
This is a harvest that is all her own,
because, today, each fruit that breaks away
falls from a milder ray of sun alone.


Click on the
image of Malik
to hear a reading
of the poem
in English.

Irish Student Responses

I like it because it tells you, in short, all the changes you see in Autumn.

Adam N.

I like the way the poet describes the image of the autumn very clearly therefore making the poem more interesting to read.

Vlad K

I think the poem is good because it tells us the changes that happen in autumn

Eric Murphy

This poem adds an atmosphere around you and makes you think that you are there. The words in the poem add depth and personality to the poem

James Bramble

I like the way the writer uses 'Breathing free" showing how the air was still in a good descriptive way.
I like the way you can really see the poem like a film. I would say it could be made into a good film.

James O'D.

The poem is good as it uses good imaginative words and the poet is very imaginative with his language.

Malik O.

The poet explains the day and that the air is breathing free. He asks us not to disturb the beauty of nature and not to disrupt it. And in the last verse he tells us that it is summer and that the ripe fruit is falling from the trees.

Muhammed S.

The poem is enjoyable as it has a rhyme and tone that flows easily off the tongue. I also enjoyed the way the poem depicts the peacefulness of nature. I finally enjoyed the simplicity of the poem.

Eoin B.


Romanian Student Responses

I liked how the author presented an autumn day.

Irimescu Luciana

I liked this poem because the author shows just a beautiful day of autumn, full of understandings.

Amariutii Ana-Maria

I chose this poem because it shows the autumn season which inspires in us an image and it induces us into a fantastic picture.

Iacob Valentin

I like this poem because in it are used beautiful and interesting expressions.

Blagan Luminita

I don't like this poem because the action is missing.

Savin Catalin

The poem is badly chosen because it can't be transposed into a movie.

Puiu Mara

This poem shows autumn and the changes it brings.

Crucianu Codrina

This poem shows the beauty of nature and its treasures

Enache Eduard

The poem shows very nice a autumn day (with all landscapes).It makes you live, even wake up in the middle of Nature.

Lupu Vlad

This poem is nice because it shows the advantages and disadvantages, the beauty and ugly parts of autumn. It shows a day in the real splendor of autumn.

Nor Marius

In my opinion this poem is very hard to be transposed into a movie. I am actually curious and will look forward for the movie. Besides that, the description is very nice.

Tanase Tina

Im Nebel by Hermann Hesse




Click on the
image above of
to hear him reading
the poem in German
recorded by
Stefan Rist.



Im Nebel

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Einsam ist jeder Busch und Stein,
Kein Baum sieht den anderen,
Jeder ist allein.

Voll von Freunden war mir die Welt,
Als noch mein Leben licht war,
Nun, da der Nebel fällt,
Ist keiner mehr sichtbar.

Wahrlich, keiner ist weise,
Der nicht das Dunkel kennt,
Das unentrinnbar und leise
Von allen ihn trennt.

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Leben ist einsam sein.
Kein Mensch kennt den anderen,
Jeder ist allein.


In the Mists

Wondrous to wander through mists!
Parted are bush and stone:
None to the other exists,
Each stands alone.

Many my friends came calling
then, when I lived in the light;
Now that the fogs are falling,
None is in sight.

Truly, only the sages
Fathom the darkness to fall,
Which, as silent as cages,
Separates all.

Strange to walk in the mists!
Life has to solitude grown.
None for the other exists:
Each is alone.



Click on the
image of Joshua
to hear a reading
of the poem
in English.

Hermann Karl Hesse


Karl Hermann Hesse, a Swiss- German writer, was born on 2 July 1877 in Calw (Württemberg). Throughout his life he was a writer and poet. Hesse grew up in a Christian missionary family in the northern Black Forest. His father, a doctor, came from Estonia. His mother was born in India. Hesse attended boarding school in Basel Mission. When the family moved back to Calw, he attended a grammar school. In 1895 he started an apprenticeship as a book seller.

Already ten years before he had begun to write fairy tales.

His best-known literary works are “Steppenwolf”, “Siddhartha”, “Peter Camenzind”, “Demian”, “The Fog”, “Narcissus and Goldmund”, and “The Glass Bead Game”

Hermann Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 1946 and in 1954 he received the Order Pour Le Merite for Science and Arts.

Karl Hermann Hesse died on 9 August 1962 at the age of 85 years in Montagnola in Switzerland.

Niels Brendemuehl


Niels Brendemuehl





Irish Student Responses

It's a very emotional poem. At the start he is happy and at the end he is alone and sad. It is a good poem but it would be better if it were longer


I like the poem, the way the poet uses phrases and words like 'wondrous to wander through mists'. It is a short poem, but I like it because it rhymes. It is a hard poem to understand but if you read it a few times you can understand it a lot better.

Adam C

I like the way the poem rhymes, it makes it much better. I like the way the poem is short but it is still good. I like the line "parted are bush and stone."

Adam N

This poem is very interesting. I like this poem because every second line rhymes and because it is short and good.


I think the poem is boring and too short. I think the fellow in the poem is a loner and has no friends. The poem has a good use of rhyme.


I think the poem has good rhyming but it's too short and boring.


I thought he must have no friends and he is a loner. The rhymes are good.


It is a good poem, it rhymes a lot and it is short. There's nothing wrong with it except it is difficult to understand. But it is very good overall.

Dan O

I don't like this poem because it is boring. There is no life in it.


I enjoyed this poem as it was short but had a deep meaning. The poem uses the mist as a metaphor for the growing apart of the poet and his friends. The mist "parts the bush and the stone". This is a perfect example of this metaphor. The line "only sages fathom the darkness to fall, which separates all" means only wise men truly understand the slow termination of a friendship and why the "mist" forms. The poet was able to condense my long explanation into a short and meaningful stanza.

Eóin B

I think the man in the poem was lonely and had no friends. I think it is a very interesting poem. But it is not very well written and is confusing.

Eoin K

I like this poem because every second line rhymes. The poem is short and it still has a good theme to it. I like the line "wondrous to wander through mists…"


I don't think the poem is that good because it is very short. The second reason I think the poem is not good because dumb people don't get it. I think the poem has some good emotional moments and this poem is sad from the start to the finish.



This poem isn't too bad because it has good phrases. I'd say it would be hard to put it into a film. It is shorter than the others and the way it is put together is interesting. It isn't the easiest to understand but it is a good poem that is short and sweet.

James O

It shows that he likes to walk alone in a nice quite place and pretty flowers and mists. I like the rhymes. It seems to talk about people who are alone.


It is a holy poem. It is also a very weather-like poem and it is very short.


In the Mists is a good poem and is a different poem. It uses good phrases and good words like "Wondrous to wander through mists". The poem also rhymes well. It was hard to understand it at first but I got then got it.


I think the poem is good because it shows emotion. It is sad at the start and sad at the end. But it should be longer because it is very short. It should have been explained.


It sets off a sad emotion. It has a strong connection with nature at the beginning. I think, because the way the poem was written, the author had an emotional phase.


I don't like this poem because it is too hard to understand. If a person wants to writ a poem, he should write it with the real meaning not some fake writing no one understands. The second reason I don't like it is that it is very short and boring. It doesn't describe the mist. The poem is meant to be about the mist but it does not describe it at all.


I think this poem has some good emotional moments and this poem is sad from the start to the finish. I think this poem is fairly short and I don't really admire that fact.


Nic dwa razy by Wislawa Szymborska


Nic dwa razy

Nic dwa razy sie nie zdarza
i nie zdarzy. Z tej przyczyny
zrodzilismy sie bez wprawy
i pomrzemy bez rutyny.


Chocbysmy uczniami byli
najtepszymi w szkole swiata,
nie bedziemy repetowac
zadnej zimy ani lata.

Zaden dzien sie nie powtórzy,
nie ma dwóch podobnych nocy,
dwóch tych samych pocalunków,
dwóch jednakich spojrzen w oczy.


Wczoraj, kiedy twoje imie
ktos wymówil przy mnie glosno,
tak mi bylo, jakby róza
przez otwarte wpadla okno.


Dzis, kiedy jestesmy razem,
odwrócilam twarz ku scianie.
Róza? Jak wyglada róza?
Czy to kwiat? A moze kamien?

Czemu ty sie, zla godzino,
z niepotrzebnym mieszasz lekiem?
Jestes - a wiec musisz minac.
Miniesz - a wiec to jest piekne.

Usmiechnieci, wspólobjeci
spróbujemy szukac zgody,
choc róznimy sie od siebie
jak dwie krople czystej wody.


Nothing Twice

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you're the planet's biggest dunce,
you can't repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with exactly the same kisses.

One day, perhaps, some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.


The next day, though you're here with me,
I can't help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?


Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It's in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we're different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.




Click on the
image of Tobi
to hear a reading
of the poem
in English.

Irish Student Responses

It is a good poem but it doesn't rhyme that much. It is saying no day is the same so make the most of every day. I like the title because it makes sense.


It's a confusing poem but good in a sense that it uses intelligent words. I don't like it as much as some other poems that I have read, but it uses good phrases like, 'one day, perhaps some idle tongue'. I don't like the way the speaker says nothing can happen twice because it can. I would rate the poem 7/10.

Adam C

I like the poem but at the start I didn't fully understand what it was about. It is good the way the poem rhymes; that makes it good. But I also don't like it because it is hard to know what is it about.

Adam N

It's a good poem but has some difficult words. I like this poem. I don't understand the start very well.


I don't agree with the poem; but I get the point. But still the poem is bit boring.


I think the poem is very interesting and the rhyming is very good. I think it is too long. I agree with the central idea.


I think she is mean because she said dunce. I think she shouldn't have used that language. Otherwise it was very well written.


I like this poem because it's a good idea for a poem. It is something I hadn't heard before. It says you have got to live life to the max because you won't get a chance to repeat it.


I don't like this poem because it is very long. I don't like this poem because it feels more like a short story than a poem. I don't like this poem because it hasn't got much rhythm.

Dylan B

The poem was enjoyable although its meaning was slightly depressing. The poem has a good rhyme which makes it easy to read.

Eóin B

I think it was a very good well-written poem.

Eoin K

I like this poem because it tells us how short life is and that we should live it TO THE MAX. I don't think it is appropriate to call people dunces in poems.


I think this poem is good because it has a good rhythm to it. The bad thing about it is that it can get you confused. The good thing about it is that it is emotional.


The poem was enjoyable because it kept you in it. It was a very depressing poem and might be hard to make into a movie. It is good because it explains how we must love life.

James B

I didn't like this poem because I thought the idea of it was poor. The only good thing about this poem was it rhymed. Other then that I didn't like it much. I disagree with the idea of nothing happens twice. Lots of things can happen twice.

James O

I like it because it has a good message that you only live once. The poem is a good poem to read and relax to. It has some nice encouraging words.


I don't like this poem because it is very racist to dunces. It is a kind of funny poem. It is very different to what we usually do.


It is a confusing poem but good in the sense that it uses intelligent words. You can do some things twice. So what I am saying is that the poet is right and wrong. She mentions kisses a lot in the poem, in the examples, and I think the poem is well written using nice examples and phrases. 'No day copies another day/no two nights will teach what bliss is'. That is my favourite part.


I don't like the poem because it's long and boring. It has good emotion and explains everything. It tells us you only have a chance to do something once.


I think it is very good because she explains what she is saying in different meanings. She says you cannot do something twice. But you can. But she means the same way you did it before, like doing a test then repeating it. But you won't do it the same way you did it before. So, overall, it is good the way she writes about stuff. She says we should not regret what we did yesterday, if we did something bad; she says we should just enjoy our day as we go along.

Dan O

It's a bit hard to understand, a bit slow, but I liked it.


I think the poem's very bliss with the context it's written in. It sets a sad emotion with the words used. I think the author has a sad emotional setting to everything she writes.

Stephen C

I like this poem but it is really hard to understand. The second reason I like it is it really tells us what we cannot do twice. It does rhyme so that tells us that a poem can rhyme and be long and still be good.


It is not a great poem but I like it because it rhymes unlike the last poem. It tells us to make the most of life which kind of makes it inspirational. I don't like it because it is hard to understand and the poet doesn't use direct words.


Romanian Student Responses




I like this poem because it presents the course of life in a different way.

Irimescu Luciana

I find it interesting because it says that good things in your life happen only one time.

Amariuti Ana

I like how the author explained a life lesson in this poem.

Iacob Valentin

I like it because it presents the life and the importance of every day itself, that we can live only once.

Blagan Luminita

I liked this poem because it teaches us a life lesson.

Savin Catalin

I liked the idea of this poem.

Puiu Mara

I liked this poem because the author tells us that life must be lived at full capacity because we get only one life.

Crucianu Codrina

It's very nice.

Enache Eduard

I liked the message of this poem.

Lupu Vlad

This poem shows that every memory, action, thing we do, won't repeat and I like this idea.

Nor Marius

I like it because it's about life and teaches you an important aspect of life.

Tanase Tina

I liked the message ,"Nothing in life happens two times".

Baiesu Adelin

Strainul by Octavian Goga















Click on the
image of Marius
to hear a reading
of the poem
in Romanian
with music
(Doina de jale)
by Gheorghe Zamfir.


Era duminica-ntr-amiaza,
Noi stam pe prispa strânsi în sfat,
Când s-a ivit pe drumul zarii
Un om la margine de sat.
Din pulberea învolburata
Abia puteai sa-l deslusesti,
Cu pasii largi grabindu-si mersul,
Venea în hainele-i nemtesti…


La cruce,-n deal, noi îl vazuram
Cum s-a oprit deodata-n pas
Si s-a-nchinat adânc, drumetul
Când a facut în drum popas.
Privea-ndelung, ca dus pe gânduri,
La zidul zugravit cu sfinti
Si sta cu capul gol, strainul,
În ploaia razelor fierbinti.


Când s-a pornit încet la vale,
Noi ne uitam de la zaplaz
Si nu stiu, ni s-a parut noua,
Dar avea lacrimi în obraz.
Când ne-a ajuns, a dat binete,
Cu glas domol, si-apoi a stat
Si ne-a-ntrebat de sanatate
Si de nevoile din sat.


Ne-a zis c-ar vrea la sfânta slujba
Sa vie-alaturea cu noi,
Si s-a uitat cu-atâta jale
Când a trecut un car cu boi.
Iar la vecernie drumetul
Statea cucernic si supus
Si-a sarutat duios icoana
Cu rastignirea lui Iisus.



Când a plecat, ne-a spus povete
Cu grai înduiosat si blând,
Si ne-ncalzea atâta-n suflet,
Ca lacrimam toti ascultând.
Spunea ca nu-i pacat mai mare
Decât sa-ti lapezi legea ta
Si, vezi, îi tremura cuvântul
Pe buze, când ne cuvânta!

Apoi s-a dus…ne era jale
Când s-a pornit la drum, pe grui…
Dar uite,-n tintirim, pe noapte,
Spun ca vazura umbra lui.
De-atunci tot despre el ni-i vorba,
Si-atât am vrea cu toti sa stim:
Anume lânga care cruce
A-ngenuncheat în tintirim?



The Stranger

It was on Sunday afternoon.
We're holding council on the porch
When, at the outskirts of the village,
A man slowly emerged.
One could barely distinguish him
Out of the whirling dust,
With wider steps and rushing up,
Wearing his German clothes.

We saw, at the cross on the hill,
He suddenly ceased his walk
And deeply bowed, poor traveler,
When he stopped for a halt.
He gazed ahead, deepened in thoughts,
At the church wall, painted with saints,
And bareheaded, the stranger stood
In the rain of hot rays.



And when he slowly started down
We're watching from the fence
And I don't know, it seemed to us
That on his cheeks ran tears.
With a mild voice he greeted us
As soon as he arrived,
And then inquired after our health
And the village's strife.

He said he would join us to church
To listen to the sermon.
And when a bull cart passed along
He glanced with deepest sorrow.
Then, at the vespers, the wayfarer
Stood humble and devout
And tenderly he kissed the icon
Of Jesus, crucified.

When he left, he gave us advice
In a kind voice, so moving,
And warmed our souls so tenderly
That all of us went weeping.
He said there was no greater sin
Than denying your creed.
And then, the words were trembling
On his lips when he said it.


After, he left, letting us mourn,
And hurried up the meadow.
But still, in the graveyard, at night,
Some say they saw his shadow.
And ever since we speak of him,
And everybody wondered
Next to what cross, that afternoon,
His knees bent in the graveyard?




Click on the
image of Stephen
to hear a reading
of the poem
in English.

Octavian Goga



Click on the
image of Georgiana
to view her
Biographical pages
on the life of
Octavavian Goga.

(In Romanian.)

An English version
of these

Biographical pages

is also available on
the same website.













1st April 1881 - Octavian Goga was born in the village of Rasinari, Sibiu. His father was a priest and his mother a teacher.

1886-1890 - He attended primary school in his native village.

1890 - He attended the High School from Sibiu (today High School Gheorghe Lazar)

1899 - He transferred to Romanian high school in Brasov.

May 14 1893 - Goga wrote his first lyrics dedicated to the novel.

1900 - He joined the College of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Budapest, continuing his studies in Berlin and ending them in 1904.

1905 - His first volume of poetry published. Further volumes included We Called the Earth (1909); The Shadow of the Walls; (1913) Songs without Land (1916

1907 - He edited the magazine "Our country", turned into a party newspaper. He was accused by Austro-Hungarian authorities of publishing political articles, which is why they brought a series of trials in the press following which he was sentenced to prison.

1910 - He came to Bucharest to actively advocate in favor of Romania's entry in World War 1 alongside the Entente powers, the release of the Romanian provinces under foreign occupation and the perfection of State unity.

1917 - He joined the Romanian Army alongside Entente and fought in Dobrogea.

1918 - He initiated at Paris a wide movement in favor of Romania, National Council of Romanian Unity. After the war he became a member in the People's Party, led by Alexandru Averescu, occupying different positions in government as
Minister of Public Education and Religious Affairs; Minister of State; Minister of Religious Affairs and the Arts; and Interior Minister

April 10 1932 - He founded the National Agrarian Party, due to a detachment from the People's Party, led by Alexandru Averescu.

July 14, 1935 - His party merged with the National Christian Defense League, led by A.C Cuza, resulting in the formation of the National Christian Party, whose president was Octavian Goga.

December 20, 1937 - King Charles II appoints him prime minister, asking him to form the government.

May 5, 1938 - In Castle Park in Ciucea the poet suffered a stroke and went into a coma.

May 7, 1938 - He died at the age of 57 years.

May 8 to May 9 - There was a pilgrimage to his corpse from thousands of people who loved and praised his work.

May 10 - A funeral train carried the corpse of the famous poet to Bucharest.

May 11 - The coffin was placed in the Athenaeum, where Goga's body was laid in state until Saturday May 14, when a national funeral was held.

Georgiana Popa

(Georgiana Popa)




Irish Student Responses

It is too long. It is religious , you know, some of us aren't the same religion as they are. It doesn't rhyme. And that's good in a way

Damian A

This poem is very hard to read. It is very long. The poem is well written but there are some difficult words. It is very holy.

Adrian P

It is sort of a boring poem nothing really interesting happens. It is a confusing poem in a way. Who is the man? Nothing really is explained.

Aaron H

I like the story in the poem the way the poet has written it. It is a long poem and I think that is a positive thing, because some poems are too short, but the poet has got it just right for me.

Adam C

I like the way they talked about the man at the start of the poem.
It's a bit too long and some parts are hard to understand.
I like when the man says there was "NO GREATER SIN THAN DENYING YOUR CREED."

Adam N.

I think this poem isn't good. It drags out and is boring. There is nothing I can say about it that I like.

Anthony M

I thought the poem was very interesting. I thought the poem was sad because the stranger was poor and had no house. The poem is very well written.

Eoin K

I think The Stranger is boring because it is too long.

Cian R

It is a very good poem and very interesting as well. Over all it's a good poem, very long and interesting.

Dan O

I think this poem is a bit strange. I think this will be a hard poem to film. I think it is a good poem! J

Eric M

I disliked this poem because it is a bit long and poems get boring after a while. I liked this poem because it has great depth that expresses the feelings very well. It is a long poem and will be pretty easy to make a movie with it.

James B

This poem has a good story to it which was interesting and it was a poem I enjoyed. I like at the end when it lets you think what happens next. I think it could have a bit better title.

James O.

I think it is a bit long for a film. It will be too hard to film. But I think it is an interesting poem.

Joshua O

The poem is very long .The poem is a well written and it is very holy.
Was the man German?

Leon M

The Poem is a sad poem of man who is a stranger to the town. It is a happy sort of poem but he is very sad.. The poem has many good phrases and has very good vocabulary. The poem is very good and very touching.. An example of a good phrase in the poem is 'Stood humble and devout Jesus'.

Malik O

I think the stranger is sad in a way because no body knows him and he has nobody to talk to or tell his problems to.

Muhammed S

It doesn't make that much sense to me and I didn't like it much but it is ok.

Paul P.

I like the poem because it is a mysterious poem and it really describes the stranger. The second reason I like the poem is that it has a bit of Christianity in it. Most other poems don't.
The final reason I like the poem is because it his long and it has a good rhythm to it.

Tobi A

I think the poem was written by a very educated person with the immaculate words they used. I'd say the poem was about a very religious figure. The poem is also quite insightful with the words that the author used .

Stephen C

Romanian Student Responses



"The Stranger" by Octavian Goga is a very original poem, and is perfect to be transformed into a movie. I liked this poem because it shows the life of the peasants of those old times. The stranger is presented in a unique mode, from childhood to maturity.

Luciana I

The reading of this poem created a movie in my mind so that's why I picked it. It's a nice poem, full of expressivity and represents the status of Romanian family in the past, thing that really attracted me.

Ana-Maria A

This poem shows the tradition of our country. I liked and chose this poem because is well designed and its perfect for our project.

Valentin I

I like this poem because it gives melancholy feelings and it makes you remember the true important things in your life.

Luminita B

At this poem I was really impressed by how the author approached the return in born place.

Catalin S

I liked this poem because it can be easily transposed into a film.

Mara P

I chose this poem because its easy to make a film about it. It has a lot of visual images that helped us making the film. This poem is specific to our culture and religion.

Codrina C

I like this poem because it has beautiful lyrics and in it is presented the life of a man with a lot of problems, who leaves in memories.

Eduard E

"The Stranger" is nice because it shows how Romanians lived in the past.

Vlad L

I liked this poem and how the author transposed the feelings of a man. Also I like that it's a little bit sad and how the author brought it to life.

Marius N

I liked this poem because its full of realism and has a special theme, a impressing one for us, Romanians. The action is described in a special mode, full of expression.

Tina T

I chose this poem because I liked the mode the author transposed into words the love of the parents for they're child.

Adelin B


Avem Timp by Octavian Paler



Avem timp
avem timp pentru toate. Sa dormim
sa alergam in dreapta si in stanga
sa regretam ce-am gresit si sa gresim din nou
sa-i judecam pe altii si sa ne absolvim pe noi insine
avem timp sa citim si sa scriem
sa corectam ce-am scris, sa regretam ce-am scris
avem timp sa facem proiecte si sa nu le respectam
avem timp sa ne facem iluzii
si sa rascolim prin cenusa lor mai tarziu
avem timp pentru ambitii si boli
sa invinovatim destinul si amanuntele
avem timp sa privim norii, reclamele sau un accident oarecare
avem timp sa ne-alungam intrebarile
sa amanam raspunsurile
avem timp sa sfaramam un vis si sa-l reinventam
avem timp sa ne facem prieteni si sa-i pierdem
avem timp sa primim lectii si sa le uitam dupa aceea
avem timp sa primim daruri si sa nu le intelegem
avem timp pentru toate
nu e timp pentru putina tandrete
cand sa facem si asta, murim.


We have time for everything
Sleep, run back and forth,
regret we made an error and err again
judge others and absolve ourselves,
we have time to read and write,
edit what we wrote, regret what we wrote,
we have time to make projects and never follow through
we have time to dwell in illusions and stir through
their ashes much later.
We have time for ambitions and diseases,
to blame destiny and details,
we have time to look at the clouds, at the ads, or some random accident, we have time
to chase away our questions, postpone our answers, we have time
to crush a dream and reinvent it, we have time to make friends,
to lose them, we have time to take lessons and forget them
soon after, we have time to receive gifts and not understand them. We have time for everything.
No time, though, for a little tenderness.
When we're about to do that, too, we die.



Click on the
image of Eric
to hear a reading
of the poem
in English.

Octavian Paler



Click on the
image of Roxana
to view her
slide show
on the life of
Octavavian Paler.

(In English.)



Octavian Paler was born in Lisa, Brasov County. He was educated at Spiru Haret High School in Bucharest. In the summer of 1944, just one week before graduating the 7th grade, he was forced to leave the school because of an argument with his uncle and Spiru Haret's school head master. Octavian Paler moved on to Radu Negru High School in Fagaras, where he studied literature for his final examination. He graduated in 1945 with magna cum laude and outstanding results in philosophy, Latin and Greek. He sat the final examination in Sibiu in the same year. Octavian Paler went on to study Philosophy and Law at the University of Bucharest.

Octavian Paler was a substitute member in the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party from 1974 to 1979, and a member of the Great National Assembly for the Vaslui constituency, from 1980 to 1985. However, he was persecuted by the Romanian secret service agency, the Securitate, because of his pro-western views and criticism of Romanian Communist Party, including Nicolae Ceausescu. He was not allowed to leave his home and suffered restrictions in his artistic work.

After the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, Octavian Paler continued his anti-communist activity as a founding member of the Group for Social Dialogue (Grupul de Dialog Social), together with Ana Blandiana and Gabriel Liiceanu amongst others. During his last years he was an intense critic of Romanian politicians and politics.

The majority of his career has developed during the Communist Regime, as the vice-president of the Romanian Radio and TV Broadcasting committee from 1965 to 1970, and the president of the Romanian Journalists Council in 1976. He worked as a Senior Editor at the influential newspaper România Libera from 1970 to 1983.

After 1989, Octavian Paler received public appreciation for his journalistic work and political activism and was appointed as the chief editor of România Libera. He has also published withCotidianul and Ziua, and has made appearances on public TV discussing politics and morality.

He died of a heart attack on May 7 2007 at the age of 80. He was buried with military honours in the Sfânta Vineri cemetery.

Roxana MerluscaRoxana Merlusca




Irish Student Responses

I like the poem because it tells us what we have time for in life. It also gives examples of what we can use our time for. Overall the poet is a good poet because he came up with the idea of writing a poem about what we can do in life.

Adam C

I like this poem because it shares a good point. The poem rhymes so I like things that rhyme. It has a good point - we have all the time in the world so don't rush anything.


I like the line "to regret we made an error and to err again." I like the way the poem is not too long nor too short. I like the way in most of the lines he says, "we have time…"

Adam N

This poem is good The poem is interesting. The poem has some hard words but it is good.


I think the poem has a good tempo but it is pure boring and drags on and there is nothing really good about it, apart from the tempo.


I think this is a good poem because it is easy to read. It uses good vocabulary. It talks about the things you can do in life.


It is a very good poem. It shows the things we have time for in life and the ones we don't. I don't think it's bad at all. It is a very good poem to read. Overall its very good. I think the poet should have showed more things we don't have time for; but it is still good.


I don't like this poem because he uses a lot of the same words. I don't like this poem because it has no life in it. I don't like this poem because it hasn't got a good plot.


I enjoyed this poem as it is about time and life and how short they truly are and only on your deathbed do you truly realise this fact. Although this poem is good it is slightly depressing. The poem also doesn't have a rhythm or a rhyme.

Eóin B

I think this poem is good, but a bit of a tongue twister. I learned a new word "to err." I like the way it describes an average person's life.


I think this poem is a good poem because it explains how life is precious. I like this poem because it tells us to spend time doing stuff and not to do nothing.

James B

I don't really like the poem because it doesn't have a story to it. It was long and it went on about nearly the same thing. The ending was good because it was the best lines in the poem.

James O

What I liked about this poem is it starts with the same words in nearly every sentence: "We have time…" What I don't like about this poem is it is depressing.


I like the poem because of the creative ideas of the poet. I don't like the way the poet uses the same kind of language meaning saying "We have time…" too many times. I like the creative fusion created by the poet.


This poem reminds me of my granddad. I don't know why. It's like a picture of him pops up into my head. This poem is a sad poem. This poem makes me feel sad inside.


I like the poem because it is a sensible poem and lets us take time to think about time. It also uses good examples of what we use our time with. Overall the poet is a smart person to write this poem with the help of God.


It is good because it has emotion. It is long and says what people do. It tells us how short life is .

Muhammed S

A bit slow, in my opinion.


I think the poem is very inspirational by the way it is put together. The words used, and the context of the poem, makes it have the power to move you. It has a very emotional set to it.


I like the poem because it really tells us about what we do with the time we have. The last thing we are meant to do, we can't do it because at that time we die. The poem is long as well. I like long poems.


I like this poem because it starts with the same words in nearly every sentence. I don't like it because it is kind of depressing.






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