melting & burning

At Night On The High Seas – Hermann Hesse
October 28, 2014, 9:56 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags:

Nachts auf hoher See

Nachts, wenn das Meer mich wiegt
Und bleicher Sternenglanz
Auf seinen weiten Wellen liegt,
Dann löse ich mich ganz
Von allem Tun und aller Liebe los
Und stehe still und atme bloß
Allein, allein vom Meer gewiegt,
Das still und kalt mit tausend Lichtern liegt.

Dann muss ich meiner Freunde denken
Und meinen Blick in ihre Blicke senken,
Und frage jeden still allein:
“Bist du noch mein?
Ist dir mein Leid ein Leid, mein Tod ein Tod?
Fühlst du von meiner Liebe, meiner Not
Nur einen Hauch, nur einen Widerhall?”

Und ruhig blickt und schweigt das Meer
Und lächelt: Nein.
Und nirgendwo kommt Gruß und Antwort her.

Translated by James Wright

At night, when the sea cradles me
And the pale star gleam
Lies down on its broad waves,
Then I free myself wholly
From all activity and all the love
And stand silent and breathe purely,
Alone, alone cradled by the sea
That lies there, cold and silent, with a thousand lights.
Then I have to think of my friends
And my gaze sinks into their gazes
And I ask each one, silent, alone:
“Are you still mine”
Is my sorrow a sorrow to you, my death a death?
Do you feel from my love, my grief,
Just a breath, just an echo?”
And the sea peacefully gazes back, silent,
And smiles: no.
And no greeting and now answer comes from anywhere.


Alone With Everybody – Charles Bukowski
January 5, 2014, 6:30 am
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
and nobody finds the
but keep
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else

Delight of Being Alone – D.H. Lawrence
September 10, 2011, 6:08 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags:

I know no greater delight than the sheer delight of being alone
It makes me realise the delicious pleasure of the moon
that she has in travelling by herself: throughout time,
or the splendid growing of an ash-tree
alone, on a hill-side in the north, humming in the wind.

Goodbye proud world – Emerson
February 15, 2011, 10:24 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

Good-by, proud world, I’m going home,
Thou’rt not my friend, and I’m not thine;
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I’ve been tossed like the driven foam,
But now, proud world, I’m going home.

Good-by to Flattery’s fawning face,
To Grandeur, with his wise grimace,
To upstart Wealth’s averted eye,
To supple Office low and high,
To crowded halls, to court, and street,
To frozen hearts, and hasting feet,
To those who go, and those who come,
Good-by, proud world, I’m going home.

I’m going to my own hearth-stone
Bosomed in yon green hills, alone,
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green the livelong day
Echo the blackbird’s roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.

Oh, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools, and the learned clan;
For what are they all in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet.

– R. W. Emerson

Girl’s Lament – Rilke
January 31, 2011, 12:06 am
Filed under: poem | Tags: ,

*translated by Edward Snow


In the years when we were
all children, this inclining
to be alone so much was gentle;
others’ time passed fighting,
and one had one’s faction,
one’s near, one’s far-off place,
a path, an animal, a picture.

And I still imagined, that life
would always keep providing
for one to dwell on things within,
Am I within myself not in what’s greatest?
Shall what’s mine no longer soothe
and understand me as a child?

Suddenly I’m as if cast out,
and this solitude surrounds me
as something vast and unbounded,
when my feeling, standing on the hills
of my breasts, cries out for wings
or for an end.

Through a Glass Darkly, by Ingmar Bergman
January 30, 2011, 8:16 pm
Filed under: film | Tags: , , , , ,

scene is called “Certainty achieved”
-Papa, I’m scared papa. When I sat holding Karin down there in the wreck reality burst open. Do you know what I mean?
-Yes I know.
-Reality…burst open… and I tumbled out. Almost like in a dream. Anything can happen papa. Anything.
-I know.
-I don’t think I can live in this new world papa.
-Yes you can, but you must have something to hold on to.
-Like what papa. God? Give me proof of that god? …you can’t.
-Yes I can. But you have to listen carefully.
-Yes, I need to listen.
-I can only give you a hint of my own hope. It’s knowing that love exists for real in the human world.

// I have omitted about 6 lines of dialogue

-So…so then love is a proof of god’s existence?
-I don’t know if love is the proof of god’s existence or whether love is god itself.
-For you…for you love and god are the same thing then?
-That thought helps my emptiness and my dirty despair.
-Tell me more, papa.
-Suddenly the emptiness turns into abundance, and despair into life. It’s like a reprieve, Minus, from a death sentence.