Friday, July 9, 2021

"Whispers of Transylvania" photo postcards

A few years ago I acquired some postcards from a set titled "Whispers of Transylvania" (Romanian: Șoapte din Transilvania). Many of the cards were not in great shape; they had worn corners, moderate scuffing and, in the worst cases, water damage. 

But they're still fascinating postcards and unlike much else that I've come across. On the fronts are sepia photos affixed to black card stock. Also on the fronts are Romanian verses in shiny, hard-to-read lettering and a logo (Suflet Romănesc). There was an attempt to create high-end postcards; these must have been expensive to produce. 

The beautiful photographs show farm and folk life in Transylvania. There are old buildings, misty fields, laborers, haystacks, a cemetery and children in traditional costumes. The idea that we're glimpsing a centuries-old culture that hasn't been touched much by the modern world is well-conveyed.

All of the photographs are credited to Andrei Posmoșanu, whose work I've also found online at and on the Bradshaw Foundation website.

On the reverse side of the postcards, there are short, English-language poems. These are translations of the Romanian verses that appears on the front of the postcard. For example, the poem for the card at the top of this post reads:

When I lose myself in sunny dreams
When I slide into oblivion's streams
The world is large, the world is near
I linger and hide and never fear
And silently lurk at the forest's deer.

And the poem for the haystack postcard below reads:

But there comes a day to reach the sky
Through sun, and rain, and cold so dry
To see horizons and days long gone
To see what's done and still undone.

I didn't say they were good poems. One wonders which came first: The rhyming English versions, or the Romanian versions, which were perhaps translated liberally, with an eye toward simple, appealing language? One also worries for the deer in the forest.

The reverse side of the postcards also features a circular logo for Traditie Vie (Living Tradition) and a "Born in Transylvania" logo. And then there are two URLs: and As of this post's publication date, the first URL is a dead link and the second URL takes you to a page that states only: :) Coming Soon  

This further supports my suspicion that this was a fledgling project in which the costs got out of hand, production was halted and the business went under. That's a shame, because there are some really nice intentions here, and wonderful photography.

Here are some of the other cards from the series. (And, again, they're not in mint condition.)

1 comment:

  1. The photos on these are lovely. Can't help wondering if that "lurk" in the poem was meant to be "look" and things went wrong in translation. If looked at from a folkloric perspective, though, maybe lurking after deer in Transylvania is perfectly normal.