Adrian Paunescu is one of the most controversial personalities from (post-) Communist Romania. For the older generation (I mean those who were in their teens/twenties – even thirties or more in the 1970s and 1980s) he was the local version of a pop star. He could gather thousands of people (without ANY sort of PR), stir up their emotions. Paunescu was able to write -beautiful – poems any time, most of the times he wrote during the shows.
For us, those who were born after the Cenaclul Flacara disappeared, Adrian Paunescu was mostly another nationalist politician with leftist sympaties we laughed of. Most people call him names or worse – he was even added in the Communism Black Book for the fact that he wrote poems glorifying Ceausescu. And he did, yes, he did, and he even admitted he did, he admitted being a pig. The interesting thing about him – he was a nationalist, everybody in Romania knows that – when picking people to participate to his poetry and song circle he did not care where you came from, if you were talented, you were in. He appreciated value, and that is a plus. He did what he did, but what I cannot deny is the charisma and power to move masses – I know I couldn’t do that!
I did not know him, at least not like that and I didn’t give a damn about him – I admit – until I saw footage from the many meetings with the Cenaclul Flacara and I was more than impressed. I would be a hypocrite if I’d start crying and calling him my master, but I’m willing to learn, at least now that he’s gone. And no, I’m not a communist (though I share some of the ideals, like I also share liberal, democrat or religious ideals), I don’t consider myself having a political colour or another, but when I appreciate a man and a woman, I do so based on the effect (s)he has on my heart and mind. And yes, wathing those videos made me sad – sad for not being there and especially sad for not knowing. Rest in peace, may God forgive your errors and reward your good deeds.
- Adrian Paunescu, Poet Who Praised a Dictator, Dies at 67 (nytimes.com)
- Thousands gather for funeral of Romanian poet (sfgate.com)