Grigore Vieru

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Grigore Vieru
Grigore Vieru 1990.jpg
Vieru in 1990
Member of the Moldovan Parliament
In office
3 September 1990 – 27 February 1994
Personal details
Born(1935-02-14)14 February 1935
Pererîta, Hotin County, Kingdom of Romania (today Briceni district, Moldova)
Died18 January 2009(2009-01-18) (aged 73)
Chișinău, Moldova
Resting placePererîta
Political partyPopular Front of Moldova
Raisa Vieru
(m. 1957⁠–⁠2009)
RelationsIgor Vieru (brother)
ChildrenTeodor and Călin Vieru
ParentsEudochia and Pavel Vieru

Grigore Vieru (Romanian pronunciation: [ɡriˈɡore viˈeru]; 14 February 1935, Pererîta, inter-war Hotin County, Kingdom of Romania – 18 January 2009, Chișinău, Republic of Moldova) was a Moldovan poet and writer. He is mostly known for his poems and books for children. His poetry is characterized by vivid natural scenery, patriotism, as well as a venerated image of the sacred mother. Vieru wrote in the Romanian language. In 1993 he was elected a correspondent member of the Romanian Academy.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Pererîta village, Hotin County, at the time, part of Romania (today part of Briceni district, Moldova). His parents, Pavel and Eudochia Vieru (née Didic) were engaged in farming.

In 1950, he graduated from the 7-grade school of his native village, after which he attended the middle school in Lipcani, which he graduated in 1953.

Personal life[edit]

Vieru was married to Raisa Vieru since 1959; they had two sons, Teodor and Călin Vieru.

Creative work[edit]

His first publishing debut was in 1957, a booklet of poems for children, "Alarma" ("Alarm"), appreciated by literary critics.The following year, Vieru graduated from the Ion Creangă Pedagogical State University in Chișinău with a degree in history and philology. He was employed as an editor in the magazine called "Scînteia Leninistă" ("The Lenin’s sparkle") designed for children, currently it is called "Noi" ("We"), and the newspaper "Tînărul leninist" ("The Young Lenin’s follower"), currently "Florile Dalbe" ("Glowing Flowers").

In 1959, he became editor at the "Nistru'"' magazine, currently "Basarabia", a publication of the Writers' Union of Moldova.

From 1960 to 1963, he served as editor in chief of the "Cartea Moldovenească" publishing house.

In 1967, Vieru's book "Poetry for Readers of All Ages" (published in 1965) was awarded the Moldavian Prize for Youth Literature. The following year, his book "Your Name" became part of the contemporary literature curriculum in Moldavian universities.

He wrote another children's story/picture book "Bread and Dew" which features Doru, a 4 or 5-year-old boy who lives in Chișinău with his parents.

Many moldavian composers were inspired by the poetry of Grigore Vieru (songbook "Poftim de intrați", "Cine crede" etc.), the poet himself is the author of a lot of melodies ("Să crești mare" etc.) and since 1964 he began to collaborate with composer Yulia Tsibulskaya ("Soare, soare", "Clopoțeii", "Stea-stea, logostea", "Ramule-neamule", "Cîntînd cu iubire" etc.).

He was a frequent guest of the "Poetry House" in Cociulia village, Cantemir District. The famous book for preschoolers "Albinuța" was also written here.

1968 was turning point for the poet's destiny; this year became remarkable by the volume of lyrical "Numele Tău" ("Your name"), with an introductory written by Ion Druță. The book was appreciated by literary critics as the most original poetic appearance. In the year of it publishing, it became a subject of the study at the university within the courses designated for the contemporary national literature. Three poems in the volume are entitled: Tudor Arghezi, Lucian Blaga, Brâncuși, and another two are dedicated to Nicolae Labiș and Marin Sorescu. For the first time, in the post war period, such dedications has appeared in the Bessarabian lyrics.

Political activity[edit]

Since 1971, Grigore Vieru has been a member of Komsomol Organisation, the youth division of the Communist Party.

In 1973, Grigore Vieru has passed the Prut within a delegation of Soviet writers. He participated in the meeting with the editors of the "20th Century" magazine: Dan Haulică, Ștefan Augustin Doinaș, Ioanichie Olteanu, Geo Șerban, Tatiana Nicolescu. At his request, he has visited monasteries of Putna, Voroneț, Sucevița, Dragomirna, Văratec. He returned to Chișinău with a bag of books. Later the poet makes the following confession:

"If somebody dreamed of getting to outer space, for my whole life I have dreamed of crossing the Prut River"

In 1974 and 1977, invited by the president of the Romanian Writers' Union, Vieru visited Bucharest, Constanța, Iași, and cities in Transylvania.

In 1978, the "Junimea" publishing house printed "The Friday Star", Vieru's first work published in Romania.

In 1989 he was elected member of Moldova's Parliament and campaigned for the unification of Romania and Moldova. The following year he was elected Honorary Member of the Romanian Academy. In 1992, the Romanian Academy recommended Vieru for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1995, he became a member of the Board of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company, and in 1996 he won several Romanian literary awards.

In 2000, Vieru was awarded the "Eminescu" Medal by the Romanian government.

Involvement in the Bessarabia National Liberation Movement[edit]

Grigore Vieru, Ion Vatamanu and Serafim Saka in '70.

At the end of the 80s, Grigore Vieru is in the first line of the National Liberation Movement in Bessarabia, his texts (including the songs laid on his lyrics) playing a big role in awakening of the national consciousness of Romanians in Bessarabia. Vieru is one of the founders of the People's Front of Moldova and is among the organizers and leaders of the Great National Assembly of August 27, 1989. He actively participates in the debates of the 13th session of the Supreme Soviet of the SSR, in which the Romanian language is voted as the official language and the transition to Latin spelling.


On January 16, 2009 Vieru suffered a serious traffic accident[2] and was admitted to the Emergency Hospital in Chișinău. Grigore Vieru was in critical condition with polytrauma, closed cranio-cerebral trauma, cerebral contusion, and closed chest trauma, contusion of the heart and lungs and contusion of the abdominal organs, with minimal chances of survival.[3] The road accident took place on the night of January 15 to 16, at 1:30 am on the R-3 route Chișinău – Hâncești – Cimișlia – Basarabeasca.[4] At the driver’s seat was Gheorghe Munteanu, emeritus artist of the Republic of Moldova and deputy director of the "Joc" folk dance troop of Chișinău, who being in an easier state.[3] At the time, he was out with friends celebrating the birthday of Mihai Eminescu, a 19th-century Romanian poet. Vieru died on January 18, 2009, in the Emergency Hospital in Chișinău after two days after the accident, following a cardiac failure from which he could not be resuscitated.[5][6]

Grigore Vieru was buried on January 20, 2009 in Chișinău, at the Central Cemetery on Armeana street. The funeral were attended by tens of thousands of people, the divisions of Grigore Vieru, as professor Dan Dungaciu called them in his article.[7] Chișinău had not known such funerals since the burial of the spouses Doina and Ion Aldea Teodorovici. The day of January 20, 2009 was declared a day of mourning in the Republic of Moldova, at 10:00 the whole republic having a moment of silence. Vieru's funeral was also broadcast live by Teleradio Moldova.


The plaque on Grigore Vieru Boulevard in Chișinău

Several schools in the Republic of Moldova, a boulevard in Chișinău and a street in Iași are called in honour of Grigore Vieru.[8] On February 11, 2010, three days before his birthday, the poet's bust was installed in the Alley of Classics.[9] A street in Buzău is called in honour of Grigore Vieru: Grigore Vieru Street.[10]


In 1996 he won several Romanian literary awards, and in the same year on August 23rd, he won Order of the Republic (Moldova).

The Romanian president Traian Băsescu has posthumously awarded Grigore Vieru with the Order of the Star of Romania, Grand Cross.[11]

Moments in Vieru's life[edit]

Grigore Vieru, picture by Paul Mecet

In the volume of lyrics designed for children "Trei iezi" (Three baby goats) published in 1970, there was also the poem called "Curcubeul" (The Rainbow), in which Vieru, used the metaphor of the rainbow with three colours, praised the flag of all Romanians. In short period of time after the book publishing, the Soviet censorship withdrew the book from the bookstores, and the author was accused of diversion.[12] Also in 1970, has appeared The Abecedarul book developed by Vieru in collaboration with the writer Spiridon Vangheli. Even nowadays, this textbook, which was edited many times over time, still teaches the first class little Bessarabians. In 1989, Vieru and Vangheli also made the Latin alphabet version of The Abecedarul.

Vieru wrote, among many others, the lyrics for the soundtrack of the cartoon film Maria, Mirabela, and the Vieru’s poem "Dragă Otee" (Dear Otee) has been sung by Iurie Sadovnic. Later, the song was taken over by Zdob și Zdub.

In 1988, in the newspaper Literatura şi Arta (Literature and Art) in Chișinău, the first Latin-written text from post-war Bessarabia has appeared. The author was Grigore Vieru.[13]

In June 1989, Vieru has got the approval of the Soviet authorities to publish the weekly Literatura si Arta in Latin writing, the editors of the newspaper mentioned that in all Soviet Moldova there were no typewriter of Latin letters, except the one from the Academy of Sciences of the MSSR and of professor Iulius Popa from Bălți. Under these conditions, Grigore Vieru and the editor-in-chief of Literatura și Arta, Nicolae Dabija, went to Bucharest to get the typewriter for the newspaper. The Romanian authorities were delaying the answer, and the antiquarian shop from which they could buy such a device was closed these days because of some technical issues. However, Vieru and Dabija were helped by the priest Vasile Țepordei, who brought to the station a bag containing the 31 metallic signs of the Latin alphabet, cut by him from his own typewriter. In Chișinău, the Latin signs are welded to a typewriter instead of the Cyrillic ones, so Literatura și Arta magazine became the first newspaper of Bessarabia to start systematically coming out in Latin spelling.

In 1994, the neo-communists of the Democratic Agrarian Party, who came to power in Moldova, gave up to the state hymn Deșteaptă-te, române! (Awaken thee, Romanian!) and proposed to the poet Grigore Vieru and the composer Eugen Doga to compose the lyrics and music for a new hymn. They both refused. Grigore Vieru wrote in the Literatura și Arta magazine the following:

"Historical justice will blame the poets and composers who will dare to raise their hands on the National Hymn "Deșteaptă-te, române!" stooping instead of his historical need and brilliance."



  • 1957 – "Alarma" (Alarm) (lyrics for children);
  • 1958 – "Muzicuțe" (Musical notes) (lyrics for children);
  • 1961 – "Făt-Frumos curcubeul și Bună ziua, fulgilor!" (Făt-Frumos the rainbow and Good morning, the flakes!) by the "Cartea Moldovenească" publishing house;
  • 1963 – "Mulțumim pentru pace" (Thanks for peace) (lyrics) and "Făgurași" (lyrics, stories and songs);
  • 1964 - The magazine "Nistru" published the poem "Legământ" (The Covenan), dedicated to poet Mihai Eminescu;
  • 1965 – "Versuri pentru cititorii de toate vârstele" (The lyrics for readers of all ages), with an introductory word written by Ion Druță and for this lyrics the poet was awarded The Comsomol Republican Prize in the field of children's and youth literature (1967);
  • 1967 – "Poezii de seama voastră" (Poems of your age) ("Lumina" publishing house);
  • 1968 – "Bărbații Moldovei" (Moldova’s Men), designed to the "nationalist" Nicolae Testimițeanu ("Nistru" magazine). The whole circulation was stopped, and the dedication taken away;
  • 1969 – "Duminica cuvintelor" (The Words of Sunday) by "Lumina" publishing house with illustrations by Igor Vieru, a book much loved by pre-schoolers, which is present in every kindergarten;
  • 1970 - "Abecedarul" ("Lumina" publishing house) - in collaboration with Spiridon Vangheli and painter Igor Vieru;
  • 1972 – "Trei iezi" (Three baby goats);
  • 1974 – "Aproape" (Nearby) (lyrics, with color illustrations by Isai Cârmu);
  • 1975 – "Mama" (The Mother) ("Lumina" publishing house - book for the little ones, illustrated by Igor Vieru);
  • 1976 – "Un verde ne vede!"(A green one sees us!) ("Lumina" publishing house – for this volume of lyrics the poem is awarded the State Prize of the Republic of Moldova (1978);
  • 1989 – "Metafore Albastre" - Сини метафори (The Blue metaphors) - ("Narodna cultura" publishing house, Sofia - in the collection Globus poetic, translation into Bulgarian by Ognean Stamboliev;
  • 2010 – "Mi-e dor de piatră" - Жал ми е за камъка (I miss the stone) – publishing house Avangardprint, Bulgaria - translation into Bulgarian and preface by Ognean Stamboliev - 100 poems.

It is present in:

  • Streiflicht – Eine Auswahl zeitgenössischer rumänischer Lyrik (81 rumänische Autoren), - "Lumina piezișă" (Pie light) the bilingual anthology consisted of 81 Romanian writers, translated by Christian W. Schenk, Dionysos Verlag 1994, ISBN 3980387119

The music on Vieru’s lyrics[edit]


Presence in English language anthologies[edit]

  • Testament – Anthology of Modern Romanian Verse / Testament - Antologie de Poezie Română Modernă – Bilingual Edition English & RomanianDaniel Ioniță (editor and translator) with Eva Foster and Daniel Reynaud – Minerva Publishing 2012 and 2015 (second edition) - ISBN 978-973-21-1006-5
  • Testament - Anthology of Romanian Verse - American Edition - monolingual English language edition - Daniel Ioniță (editor and principal translator) with Eva Foster, Daniel Reynaud and Rochelle Bews - Australian-Romanian Academy for Culture - 2017 - ISBN 978-0-9953502-0-5
  • The Bessarabia of My Soul / Basarabia Sufletului Meu - a collection of poetry from the Republic of Moldova - bilingual English/Romanian - Daniel Ioniță and Maria Tonu (editors), with Eva Foster, Daniel Reynaud and Rochelle Bews - MediaTon, Toronto, Canada - 2018 - ISBN 978-1-7751837-9-2

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Academia Romana (membri)",, retrieved 21 April 2020
  2. ^ Death Of A Moldovan Poet.
  3. ^ a b "Imagini VIDEO cu maşina avariată în care se afla şi Grigore Vieru. Po…",, 3 July 2013, archived from the original on 3 July 2013, retrieved 21 April 2020
  4. ^ "Starea poetului Grigore Vieru ramane grava, medici de la Bucuresti sunt in drum spre Chisinau - Moldova Azi",, retrieved 21 April 2020
  5. ^ "(video) Grigore Vieru a murit. Eminescu l-a chemat la ceruri. Ziua în…",, 15 July 2012, archived from the original on 15 July 2012, retrieved 21 April 2020
  6. ^ "Poetul Grigore Vieru a decedat (Video)", Mediafax, retrieved 21 April 2020
  7. ^ "Diviziile lui Grigore Vieru - LimbaRomana",, retrieved 21 April 2020
  8. ^ "Iasul are o strada Grigore Vieru",, 1 August 2012, archived from the original on 1 August 2012, retrieved 21 April 2020
  9. ^ "Bustul lui Grigore Vieru va fi instalat la 12 februarie pe Aleea Clas…",, 15 September 2012, archived from the original on 15 September 2012, retrieved 21 April 2020
  10. ^ "Strada Grigore Vieru, în Buzău",, 24 July 2012, archived from the original on 24 July 2012, retrieved 21 April 2020
  11. ^ "Poetului Grigore Vieru i-a fost conferit post-mortem Ordinul Naţional „Steaua României"", Flacăra TV, 19 January 2015, retrieved 21 April 2020
  12. ^ "Poetul Basarabean Grigore Vieru",, 1 August 2012, archived from the original on 1 August 2012, retrieved 21 April 2020
  13. ^ "EDITORIAL: Poetul Grigore Vieru s-a preschimbat in iarba (Realitatea …",, 6 July 2013, archived from the original on 6 July 2013, retrieved 21 April 2020
  14. ^ https://facebook. Com/100003970736071 (9 June 2014), "20 de ani fără „Deşteaptă-te, române!"", Adevărul, retrieved 21 April 2020

External links[edit]