15 January 2020
Famous Couples — Poem of Love
Romfilatelia introduces into circulation on Tuesday, January 15th, current year, the postage stamps issue “Famous couples. Poem of love to mark National Culture Day”. January 15th, 1850 – a day and a year mentioned in a document kept at the Uspenia Church in Botosani, which attests the birth of the poet Mihai Eminescu. January 15th became National Culture Day through a presidential decree signed on December 6th 2010.
About “The evening star of Romanian poetry” it is worth mentioning the words of Mircea Eliade: “For us, Eminescu is not only the greatest poet of ours and the most brilliant genius that was created by the Romanian soil, waters and sky. He is, in a way, the very embodiment of this heaven and this earth, with all the beauties, pains and hopes raised from them”.
A feminine presence intervened in the life of the great poet, which marked his existence. Its name is clearly mentioned in a versification in the folkloric manner: “Dearest Veronica, / Look at the private leaf/ It is as our whole life;” The love relationship between the poet and Veronica Micle (married at the age of 14 with the elder professor Stefan Micle) is confirmed by the words of Virginia Micle (Veronica’s daughter): “My mother loved Eminescu with an unlimited love”.
In 1872 the two future lovers met in Vienna, where Eminescu was a student of philosophy, an occasion where an idyll was created that was to be transformed into a passion accompanied by several break-ups and reconciliations.
Although there is more talk about the fact that the romantic relationship between Eminescu and Veronica would have started in 1879 after the death of Professor Stefan Micle, there are strong claims that a first passionate meeting took place in February 1876, when Veronica’s husband left Iasi. Many poems appear immediately after this date: Loving in secret, What you whisper so secretly, In vain the weather clears, Venom and charm, Jealousy etc. After August 1879, the flame of passion adds new poems: Ah, I asked the zodiac signs for you, Sleep, You look at me with big eyes etc.
After the death of Stefan Micle (1879), the connection between the two is resumed, in the draft of the letter of condolences Eminescu wrote: “my life, strange today and inexplicable to all my acquaintances, has no meaning without you”.
Few know that Eminescu was also very jealous, which is why the relationship between the two lovers often broke up. He craved the absolute, an exclusive love and all the speculations that referred to Veronica’s infidelities bothered him.
In 1883, the disease that was to be fatal, six years later, began for Mihai Eminescu. The diagnosis then made by the doctors from Dr. Sutu’s Sanatorium, from Bucharest, was “manic-depressive psychosis”.
He was sent by doctors for treatment in Vienna, then through Italy, returning to Iasi only after a year. Months of treatment and recovery followed, and in 1887 he arrived in the care of his sister, Henrieta, in Botosani. During this time, Veronica moved to Bucharest with her children and tried to persuade him to return to the Capital, in order to be better cared for. She managed to get him to come to Bucharest only in April 1888. Late on the morning of June 15th, 1989, the poet died in the sanatorium of Dr. Sutu.
The last time Veronica saw her paramour was in the summer of 1888. The poet’s condition worsened due to the medical treatment which was, if not ill-intentioned, at least inadequate. Veronica does not want to see him in this state, she wants to keep the memory of Eminescu in “the most splendid era of his intellectual life. And so, I am without any law and without any God, to remain at least that one of poetry, which for me, was embodied in Eminescu’s being”. Veronica could not forget him and on August 4th, 1889 took her own life. The suicide, the result of arsenic poisoning, occurred at the Varatec Monastery, where she had retired. A premeditated suicide fixed at 50 days after the death of her love, Mihai Eminescu.
On the postage stamps with the face values of Lei 5 and respectively Lei 11.50, the portraits of the two lovers, Mihai Eminescu and Veronica Micle, are reproduced in the foreground. These portraits, highlighted in the graphical composition of the postage stamps are accompanied by their soulmates, presented in mirrored black and white.
On the imperforated souvenir sheet of the issue, with the face value of Lei 28.50, one can find the postage stamp that illustrates both parties of this romantic love along with the poem “Sleep” by Mihai Eminescu and a symbolic illustration of the two lovers, created by Ligia Macovei.
Romfilatelia thanks the Romanian Academy Library, the City Hall of Dumbraveni town in Suceava county and the National Museum of Romanian Literature for the documentary and photographic support offered towards the achievement of this postage stamps issue.
The postage stamps issue “Famous couples. Poem of love to mark National Culture Day” will be available on Wednesday, January 15th 2020, in Romfilatelia’s shops network in Bucharest, Bacau, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Timisoara and online on http://romfilatelia.ro/store/. The postage stamps issue is completed by 1 “first day” cover, and as page composition, in sheet of 32 stamps, minisheet of 5 stamps + 1 label and imperforated souvenir sheet.
For further information, please contact the Public Relation Office:
Tel: 021 / 336 93 92