Showing posts with label German literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label German literature. Show all posts

Hermann Hesse

 (July 2, 1877 – August 9, 1962) was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter.

For More Information > POEMS

I Know, You Walk--
I walk so often, late, along the streets,
Lower my gaze, and hurry, full of dread,
Suddenly, silently, you still might rise
And I would have to gaze on all your grief
With my own eyes,
While you demand your happiness, that's dead.
I know, you walk beyond me, every night,
With a coy footfall, in a wretched dress
And walk for money, looking miserable!
Your shoes gather God knows what ugly mess,
The wind plays in your hair with lewd delight---
You walk, and walk, and find no home at all.

In Secret We Thirst
Graceful, spiritual,
with the gentleness of arabesques
our life is similar
to the existence of fairies
that spin in soft cadence
around nothingness
to which we sacrifice
the here and now

Dreams of beauty, youthful joy
like a breath in pure harmony
with the depth of your young surface
where sparkles the longing for the night
for blood and barbarity

In the emptiness, spinning, without aims or needs
dance free our lives
always ready for the game
yet, secretly, we thirst for reality
for the conceiving, for the birth
we are thirst for sorrows and death 

Without You

My Pillow gazes upon me at night
Empty as a gravestone;
I never thought it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Not to lie down asleep in your hair.

I lie alone in a silent house,
The hanging lamp darkened,
And gently stretch out my hands
To gather in yours,
And softly press my warm mouth
Toward you, and kiss myself, exhausted and weak-
Then suddenly I'm awake
And all around me the cold night grows still.
The star in the window shines clearly-
Where is your blond hair,
Where your sweet mouth?

Now I drink pain in every delight
And poison in every wine;
I never knew it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Alone, without you.

                        Quotes from "Steppenwolf"

"All suicides have the responsibility of fighting against the temptation of suicide. Every one of them knows very well in some corner of his soul that suicide, though a way out, is rather a mean and shabby one, and that it is nobler and finer to be conquered by life than to fall by one's own hand."  

"What I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity."

“When I have neither pleasure nor pain and have been breathing for a while the lukewarm insipid air of these so called good and tolerable days, I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my moldering lyre of thanksgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel the very devil burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room. A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse, perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to commit outrages, to pull off the wigs of a few revered idols...” 

“You are willing to die, you coward, but not to live.” 

For More Information >    BOOK / Steppenwolf   >

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For More Information >

  • TO THE DISTANT ONE                    

And  have I lost thee evermore,

Hast thou, oh, fair one, from me flown?

Still in mine ear sounds, as of yore,

Thine every word, thine every tone.

As when at morn the wanderer's eye

Attempts to pierce the air in vain,

When, hidden in the azure sky,

The lark high o'er him chants his strain:

So do I cast my troubled gaze

Through bush, through forest, o'er the lea;

Thou art invoked by all my lays;

Oh, come then, loved one, back to me!


HE warder he gazes o' the night

On the graveyards under him lying,

The moon into clearness throws all by her light,

The night with the daylight is vying.

There's a stir in the graves, and forth from their tombs

The form of a man, then a woman next looms

In garments long trailing and snowy.

They stretch themselves out, and with eager delight

Join the bones for the revel and dancing --

Young and old, rich and poor, the lady and the knight,

Their trains are a hindrance to dancing.

And since here by shame they no longer are bound,

They shuffle them off, and lo, strewn lie around

Their garments on each little hillock.

Here rises a shank, and a leg wobbles there

With lewd diabolical gesture;

And clatter and rattle of bones you might hear,

As of one beating sticks to a measure.

This seems to the warder a laughable game:

Then the tempter, low whispering, up to him came:

"In one of their shrouds go and wrap thee."

'Twas done soon as said; then he gained in wild flight

Concealment behind the church portal,

The moon all the while throws her bright beams of light

On the dance where they revel and sport all.

First one, then another, dispersed all are they,

And donning their shrouds steal the spectres away,

And under the graves all is quiet.

But one of them stumbles and fumbles along,

'Midst the tombstones groping intently;

But none of his comrades have done him this wrong,

His shroud in the breeze 'gins to scent he.

He rattles the door of the tower, but can find

No entrance -- good luck to the warder behind! --

'Tis barred with blest crosses of metal.


His shroud must he have, or rest can he ne'er;

And so, without further preambles,

The old Gothic carving he grips then and there,

From turret to pinnacle scrambles.

Alas for the warder! all's over, I fear;

From buttress to buttress in dev'lish career

He climbs like a long-legged spider.

The warder he trembles, and pale doth he look,

That shroud he would gladly be giving,

When piercing transfixed it a sharp-pointed hook!

He thought his last hour he was living.

Clouds cover already the vanishing moon,

With thunderous clang beats the clock a loud One --

Below lies the skeleton, shattered.