by Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889)
A crested chicken with snowy plumage
Lives in a secluded coop, like in a cool refuge.
There isn’t any cock over the whole yard,
Which could stalk her chaste youth.
How coquettish she is. And how graciously she walks.
And what lovely stars she paints with her claw in the sand.
She is a virtuous chick. She is a too good chick.
She looks devoutly for barley seeds and breadcrumbs.
But who is to admire her youthful looks and her charm?
Should it be the bull with one eye, which sees only half of its hay?
Oh! She feels a secret fire in her young heart,
For the sweet cock-a-doodle-doo, which crows at the first light.
She looses her appetite. She rummages through dirt,
So one feels sorry for her,
While she tries to find the guy that she has always looked for.
Or the sad young chick walks pensively at night,
Searching to see his gleaming shape in the moonlight.
An elderly hen — a much respected female, who, for a long time
Got rid of worldly vanities and joined the nuns —
Tells her own secrets to the young hen, so in a ray of wisdom,
She can find relief from her fleeting thoughts.
The old nun had been discharged long ago from duty.
She gave up long ago the habit of love and joy.
She speaks badly of the whole nature with her sharp tongue.
She strongly preaches against the low morals.
“Oh, said the young hen, can’t you see the swallows?
How the chicks poke their heads from the nest? They preen on hedges.
And then at midnight I hear them making trouble.
They kiss with their beaks, making love.”
Then the old hen answered: “We don’t have such luck.
The female swallow isn’t a hen. The male swallow isn’t a cock.
A cock’s unfaithfulness is known. They’re harsh, tyrannical, and unpleasant.
They cheer and thrill one’s heart, and then they poison it.
Only the flowers are happy, since on the same stem
The female pistil and the male stamen are set firm.
Under the green curtain of leaves, the flower’s young male stamen,
Meets and makes love with the scented virgin female pistil.
But the cock, what a useless and unstable guy he is.
It is true that you feel taken away to heaven
When he shoots his arrow of love deep into your heart,
And you forget quickly the whole world.
But later, jealousy breaks your heart.
Since, he leaves you behind, sad, widowed and worn out.
And with tired wings you sit on eggs day and night.
You die of hunger and thirst. You don’t drink water, even a dewdrop.
He doesn’t even look at the poor hen — tightly encircled in a loop.
Well, your chaste mind better not let in
— The lying dreams of love and gratification.
Come with me to learn wisdom, nature’s deep mysteries,
The great influence of the stars which foretell the future times.”
While they talk wisely, what do they hear and see?
Behind an odd fence, the rooster walks slowly.
The pullet drops swiftly the wish of talking about philosophy.
She listens to the rooster’s serenade, with joy.
Oh, love goes in through her ear. In vain the old hen is pecking
Her on the head with envy — she wants to hold her by the wing.
The pullet frees herself, she shudders, and she runs at once.
And she stares sweetly at his strange shape through the fence.
But the old hen crosses herself with her claw. And she exclaims.
“Young age, oh young age! And she enters sighing in the hen house.
The foxy hypocrite changes her attitude in the dark.
And she reprimands the naughty chick.
Where is the wise guy, with the talent of sending sound calls?
So he can create a compendium of the sweet impressions,
That only a sound can suggest with a wish to the feelings of a bride.
Only a cock-a-doodle-doo can be kind, stirring, and badly behaved.
What clever and heroic feelings, the cock-a-doodle-doo can symbolize.
What courage — what a difference from the hen’s cluck and her size.
How good his crest looks, like a red tree-stem.
She burns with desire. She shivers with love for him.
And the old hen’s sayings, all go out through one ear,
The same way it had entered through the other.
Suggestions against love have taught her, what real love is.
She knows that with a loving glance she can pick the general she chooses.
And so she turns around in the yard, she makes plans.
And from her sleepy thought, and with her happiness,
She awakes a sorrowful monk capon, with his bellied profile,
Without a crest, and swollen with pride, with no voice, and without a tool.
And with an angelic voice, she asks him if he’s not a brother or a cousin
With Don Giovanni who crows on the neighbouring fence in the open.
But the sinister monk said in a tragic voice: 'Oh, Apollo, help me!
Next of kin to such evil beings I shall not be.
No! The priestess of the Earth Goddess, Gaia,
On a brick altar, next to an offering fire,
Has felled quickly my pride of being a cock.
So in spite of my lack of feelings, certainly
That Platonic marvels smile at me.
With my chaste gaze — which, isn’t influenced by any sex appeal —
I see in people and in things, just the thought and the soul.
In every one, I see the first of his kind. And with a flash of insight
I see Mohamed’s cock, with a shinny shape, at night.
And in sublime revelations of the eternal mystery,
I thank Goddess Vesta, who blessed this fate on me.
The gods shall provide a feast for my spirit, when I shall be lifeless.
I devote my life to thinking, like a modern Pythagoras”.
He goes to his cell. But the pullet falls in thought.
And the cock countenance is all the time on her mind.
'What has Cyril lost, which his hot cousins has, and he doesn’t? '
And she ponders and walks on the ground.
And her little heart beats faster. She goes to the fence once more
To gaze again at the rooster with a royal step, her hero.
He has red crest, and a chest inside which beats a masculine heart.
She wants so much to have him as a mate.
She worries now. He sees her and he greets her…
His eyes burn her. And he tells her chivalrous sweet nothings.
“No, ” he says on a tender tone. “These shall be not taken notice of
— No matter how high are the fences against the heavenly fire.”
He wants to fly. But the old Sibyl, who deeply seems to mind,
About the vestals palace, she hits the winged knight
With the magic of a broom and she chases him away…
The pullet stares at him with folly.
All Werther woes fill his heart, even if
The cock doesn’t want to end his life as heroically. He is in love.
She figures out how to open the door for him.
Except that her embarrassment is what distracts her from her choice.
“No, no! Nighttime might find me by chace, on the other side, lost,
And they might say it is my fault.”
And being sad she climbs up on a haystack, when the moon fills the night.
Being in love, she walks, and bashfully she jumps the fence.
Farewell to the entire youth paraphernalia.
Since secret instincts, tore down the innocence in her.
“What can I lose? ” she thinks. They always tell me about
A treasure that at a certain time in life one looses, and it’s hard to protect.”
But suddenly he comes. Bashfully she wants to take to the air.
He runs after her. She may want it. She may not dare.
She likes to let herself caught under his heavy wing.
She feels joyful, even though she acts as if it is heartbreaking.
Do you want to run away? ” he sighs. “So much, do you hate me? ”
“I hate you! ” says the cunning chick. And she smiles craftily.
“Tyrant you, how can I not hate you, when you want to hurt me? ”
He swears it isn’t the case, and he asks for a kiss.
Why should she refuse him?
Can she refuse a charming plea, so poetically uttered?
Shall it bode well to resist? Does it look good?
She is happy to lose, what she doubts it is the price for love.
The sky spreads out its cloudless blue linen.
Looks like it’s sown with stars that twinkle with heavy gold.
When his wings cover her, when she feels him over her tights,
Everything goes blank around her. And her virtue bleeds.
This sweet amorous folly keeps on and on.
Her heart melts by the sleepy shade.
She feels pricked by a red-hot coal prickle.
It massacres her, drives her mad, thrills her, and blows her apart.
She closes her little eyes. Now she feels like she’s melting.
And in her soft voice, she expresses feelings without knowing.
He caresses her, and assures her that he is sent by heaven.
And that he’s meant to love her, and together have fun.
“You! She says. You are so handsome — the king of the hens planet.
I forgive you! Your sweet love is like a carnation scent.”
And he answers antistrophe like in an ancient tragedy:
“You are Venus in the coop. Your eye is light from the sky.”
This is the first chapter in the pullet love story.
This is the precious honeymoon picture.
“The poetry is the pause between pleasure and joy”.
She brightly tells her point of view to the cock, which flatters her.
But soon her naïve feeling and her character changes into coquetry.
Cocks much younger fill the shinny yard of our topknot Girl Friday.
And she pays attention to their high-pitched voices.
The coop Adonis, with his bold stare,
Being dandy, weary of life, sarcastic, and with a huge desire
— And the subject of the single-hens-daily-chronicle, the coop paperback —
He courts her by the book.
She gladly agrees to the courtship of the witty young Adonis.
She overlooks any lack of respect or excuse.
So, she can excite in the old general, jealousy and regret.
Oh dear, how can she believe in such a tragic end?
The general, because he thinks she’s unfaithful,
He wants to quarrel with the young cock.
He stands up with curage. His red crest becomes hard.
And the general cries dreadfully: ' Run or die, you rascal! '
Adonis twists back his neck, and he comes back with these words,
“You, of low birth! Your insult doesn’t hurt me.
The difference between us is too great: Who are you?
Look who I am. I court whom I want far and wide, and I party.'
“I shall force you to fight with me! ” shouts the irate general.
He ruffles his feathers on his back, and he throws himself into the fight.
He fights hard, while nearby stands the unhappy young hen
—Plotter of the Iliad— and she sheds tears for her Don Juan.
They wrestle, cut each other with their beaks, and get crushed.
They get tired. For a minute, they start a truce.
But soon they start the skirmish again. Don Juan is full of blood.
And the General proclaims his victory on top of him.
But madam doesn’t betray what happens to her feelings.
She doesn’t betray if its joy, grief, care, or lack of concern.
Perhaps she wants to pay the price to the winner,
So, she remains cold as stone.
How prophetic she shows herself — the culinary priestess.
She takes off the outfit of the late Adonis, and puts it on her laps.
She washes his body in holy water. And in his dear entrails,
She puts a range of fragrances for the mortuary offerings.
And here is the twist! She turns his body over the fire
On the sacred fireplace, cleansing it of its worldly sins.
The palanquin that serves the Earth Goddess,
Takes it to Olympus as a warm gift to the Gods
Who, in never-ending laughter and in an explosion of jokes,
In spiritual speeches, and in learned remarks
About the great dark mysteries of the culinary art,
Sit —with a divine apathy — to eat the offerings.
Alas, why doesn’t someone say a funeral eulogy?
For its saintly fate, why doesn’t someone intonate “De profundi”?
Not even a tear, drops over the coffin’s ceramics.
The heart of the Gods of this world is famous for showing no thanks.
Weren’t there wise and righteous heroes in this world?
Some spilled their blood in the battle for the good.
The other ones burnt their life-spool next to the white reading light
To be enlightened — so they can have the poor-cock fate?
Doesn’t a cock have, like any other being, a fate?
One man’s pains are other men’s delight.
Many people’s lives end to provide for the life of many.
And eating each other, isn’t it the scope of the entire story?
Pour crab! They throw it alive in the boiling wine.
How much it suffers. What does one care, which is not a crab?
What would a bird, which torments a beetle, worry about?
Or the spider that sucks out the emerald head of a fly.
The little bird takes to itself the mind-set, the thought,
From a grasshopper it kills. Its soul enriches the bird heart.
And the rooster that dies nourishes the one who eats it.
Who knows what thought is in his brain, or what feeling is in his heart.
But to the pain of his naïve pullet, the General,
Who, killed a young cock of such promise, in duel,
He is imprisoned, so he can think at length
—About the relevant paragraphs of the penal code.
So the widowed pullet carries on alone.
At first, she laments her fate. She seems without consolation.
But soon, tall and young cocks, fill the unoccupied part
— Full of love and sorrow, of the sweet pullet heart.
She learns to forget — like the Marquise du Châtelet.
She switched the old Voltaire with Saint-Lambert.
The cocks do not quarrel for her crafty heart, since
From young to even younger, she takes them to her school.
Soon she loses in the yard, all the novelty magic.
There is no cock that did not take what a pullet can give.
Soon, other hens cast shadows on her success.
Barmeg, the treasurer, once outshined Sultan Harun.
In vain she laid blame on their sensual feelings.
Well — answers ironically one of her former lovers —
My heart is completely yours, but what do you want?
Are we silly? Our feeling looks for some young and tender meat.
Soon she grows to be intolerant. Soon she sinks into depression.
How usually happens, from a liberated female, she turns into a nun.
Her tongue is sharp, like her old guard.
She swears at the hen house and at the polyglot yard.
And then, the old hen feels sorry for the pullet position-demise.
She puts a wall between her and the other hens with immoral lives.
Placing the pullet into a solitary cell,
Where she washes her past sins in a veiled monastic life.
She searches for the company of father Cyril
—The sad monk-capon, with his wittiness from a barrel.
He loves in her, the idea of her past beauty.
He still sees a youngster in the old chick.
She sees in the wise guy with a holy-man looks
The cock prototype, the-cock-of-all-cocks,
When he comes up with oratorical flourishes and pious eyes,
Lecturing in spiritual manner in a sleepy tirade.
And so, she finishes the path of her earthly lot.
The spool of her life burns to the last bit.
And now in old age, she can use it as well.
She uses it, like she lights a candle to God.
The Holy oil from the falsely sanctified heart of bigotry
It is the same that lit into her earthly loves.
The spirit did not come down from the sky.
He had it below his waist and gave it to her.
And on nights, when the moon rises above the top of the trees
— And like a silvery shield, it covers up long alleys
With dark shadows and white strips — you guys, who chase some women…
You might think a woman has under her skirt more than two legs.
Men you, who in your fine minds unite the whole Universe,
You, who, look for angel-thoughts, in two large eyes
— Which, look to you as two nights below bushy eyebrows —
The demon in her gaze is the same as the one under her belly.
Come to your senses.
Oh, think for a minute, at the red pike and at the wound it causes.
And at the innocent blood it sheds. And you can see how many illusions
A heart — which is on fire — can fake:
While Madam is a chicken and Sir is a cock.
And so my kind people, I have done my best. At times with rhymes,
When with words, when with reckoning, when with rare inspirations,
I get there to: and so… I scratch my head and I close my book of blues.
And with much respect, wonder man bows to you.
Comments about this poem (Anthropomorphism by Peter Mamara )
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