Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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It gives one a strange idea of what treasures of primitive poetry and music may yet be found among the peasantry of Europe, when a volume like this — The Bard of the Dimbovitza, Rouma­nian Folk-Songs. Collected from the Peasants by Helene Vacaresco. Translated by Carmen Sylva and Alma Strettell — has been brought to light from the single district of Roumania. The pre­face by Carmen Sylva (the Queen of Roumania), herself an accomplished literary artist, says that these songs were collected from the lips of peasant girls, the lute players, the reapers, and the gypsies, by the young poetess Helene Vacaresco, in the dis­trict of Roumania, in which her father's domain is situated. She spent four years in collecting them, and even although her family has been known and honored for centuries by the people, she encoun­tered many difficulties in endeavoring to induce the peasants to repeat their songs to her. " She was forced to affect a desire to learn spinning that she might join the girls at their spinning parties, and so overhear their songs more easily,*
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