Love Letters (1943-1954)

excerpts 155th of March 1946I wasn't planning on writing to you.I thought I was going to write Physics papers.But the paper was white and I kept thinking about you.I was thinking of you and I felt happy.This flatters me.And saddens me at the same time.I thought that by conquering your spirit, your body would become a mere accessory.That's why I've never talked to you about your body and neither have I tried conquering it.I used to think that the flowers, the stars, the moons, the landscapes, the dreams and all the other figments of my imagination were enough to make you mine.I can see now that all these things are much too far away from you.On the other hand, there is something which is really close to you.A common thing.Ordinary.Ugly.Within everyone's reach.I can see that all my verse, all my letters, all my pain, all my love, in a word everything that was mine and only mine and which I gave to you, meant nothing to you.Nevertheless, it seems that everything I have in common with the others, everything which doesn't only belong to me, truly means a lot to you.You are a woman.And you are "just like all the rest".Excuse my minor poem.I've had a teacher in communism.1An old man, experienced, who has suffered and learnt a lot.That man could not offend anyone.His words were as precious as gold.His blood was as blue as the sky.And I talked to him about love.I told him that love is like a garden.Where coppered stars set down behind huge sycamore trees.Where delicate flowers lean their frail stems in the blow of the spring wind.Where the altar tables of truth burn in secret bushes.Where little angels play and laugh their golden laugh.I told him that love is like a churchWith Byzantine saints painted on stained glass windowsAnd candles bashfully burning in the cornersWith high pitched liturgies sung by synods.Do you know what he answered?"My dear boy, love may be this thing to you.For a woman though, irrespective of how she is, love is reduced to a simple thing:It is reduced to a muscle.And if you want to win her over, don't talk to her about gardens or churches, do something else:Tell her the dimensions of that muscle.In centimeters or if you are worthy, in decimeters."I looked surprised at that man.Until that moment he had been so incredibly noble.And just like that, all of a sudden, he talked so badly to me.And then I remembered another man.More noble.And much wiser.I remembered Friedrich Nietzsche, And his opinion about women goes something like this:"All is a mystery – says Nietzsche – with women, but this mystery has a name: the womb."And Nietzsche also says:"If you're going to women don't forget your whip!"Tell me.Tell me Lucia, that all these things are false. That everything I'm thinking about right now is wrong. Tell me that you are not like all the others. Tell me that you realize that your ideas are superficial and that mine are really deep and meaningful.And that you want your surface to be at the end of my depth.Tell me that it's not my masculinity, but my wisdom that you treasure.That it is not the darkness in me but the light that I radiate, that attracts you.That it is not the filth in my soul but the purity of my spirit that you cherish.Please tell me that Lucia,or else…I will tell you my dimensions:length = 24 cmdiameter = 4 cm 167th of March 1946I miss you so much that I feel like grabbing a chair and smashing all the windows. I want this letter to be long, endlessly long. Writing makes me miss you less. The thought in which you live is so close to me, I can see it clearly before my eyes as if I would see you. Sometimes I think that I don't even need to see you, this is how much you have become a part of me. You are walking through the corridors of my brain, you flow through my blood, you sleep and dream inside my heart. I'm reduced to nothingness. The world revolves around me bright and noisy. And I can see its light and I can hear its song and still I can't see or hear anything.When my mother came this morning, I rushed like a child to hug her. She got scared. I think it's been years since I last kissed her. She smiled and I could see her lips trembling, "How much you love her," she said to me.Grandma is walking about, nodding her head significantly.And she looks very funny when she's nodding.I went to the brothel last night.The sun was red and flat.My thoughts were swirling like storm clouds in my head.In the long, endless hall, people's faces seemed to be wax masks.The "salon" was brightly lit, though.There was a table with a round bowl on it, in the middle of the room.Two red fish with piercing, scared eyes swam in the bowl.A few women were sitting on the chairs near the wall.Some of them wore blue dresses.Others wore green or red dresses.Some had tall hairdos.The others wore their hair on their forehead, cut in a fringe.Some of them stared with tired, dead eyes, while others looked around lively.Some talked and sneaked a peak around, from time to time.Others sat motionless like sphinxes no one understands.In a corner, there was a young girl. Her hair was short.Her dress was the color of peach flowers.Her stockings were hanging down and she had a strange rictus on her face.This girl was looking at me smiling.An older woman, seeing that I had my mind set on the girl in the corner, whispered to me: "Fresh meat."I took her arm and left with her on the hall.She took me in small, stifling room that only had a window, a bed, and a sink.She was so young and I pitied her so much that I started stroking her cheeks.The girl looked at me surprised and asked:Why are you caressing me?I didn't answer her. I was tired and I sat on the side of the bed.She started undressing.She was undressing and I was looking at her.And it seems that my gaze was intense, that she said:"Why are you looking at me like this? I'm ashamed."I smiled.She took off her shirt and she lay down.I sat still on the edge of the bed."Why aren't you undressing yourself?" she asked. "Don't you feel lust? I'm so young."My smile got so big that it felt like it was a part of me…She started posing.She was clumsy."You're not very good at your job, are you?" I told her."Teach me," she saidBut I still sat motionless on the side of the bed.Then she got up and sat in my lap.If she weren't so young I would have been disgusted. Leonid Dimov (1926-1987) is the chief representative of oneirism in Romanian poetry. The letters were addressed to his girlfriend (and subsequently wife) Lucia. Aside from the beautiful love story, there are all the elements that will later shape the poet's lyrical universe in these Love Letters (1943-1954) (Polirom, 2005). "His feeling is that writing alone reflects his true personality and profound self. Dimov often puts in contrast the richness of his inner life, which he offers to his truelove, and all the other material fulfillments that other men may provide a woman. Aware of his social inadequacy, of his deliberate failure, of the lack of material assets, the poet gives away his 'genius', wisdom, profoundness, and sensitivity." (Corin Braga)
1 Immediately after the war, Leonid Dimov frequented Trotskyist-communist circles. In 1944 he even enlisted himself in PCR (Romanian Communist Party), but resigned the next year.

by Leonid Dimov (1926-1987)