A savage desire for strong emotions and sensations burns inside me: a rage against this soft-tinted, shallow, standardized and sterilized life, and a mad craving to smash something up, a department store, say, or a cathedral, or myself. — Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf: A Novel. (Penguin Books, Limited (UK); New Ed edition February 25, 1999) Originally… Continue reading Hermann Hesse
O dark gate, O dark hour of death, Come forth, So I can recover from this life’s emptiness, And go home to my own dreams. — Hermann Hesse, “Childhood” (1915) Found in New Selected Poems of T Byron Kelly. (Universe, December 3, 2009)
You Who Never Arrived You who never arrived in my arms, Beloved, who were lost from the start, I don’t even know what songs would please you. I have given up trying to recognize you in the surging wave of the next moment. All the immense images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt landscape, cities,… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke
Once it happened, as I lay awake at night, that I suddenly spoke in verses, in verses so beautiful and strange that I did not venture to think of writing them down, and then in the morning they vanished; and yet they lay hidden within me like the hard kernel within an old brittle husk.… Continue reading Hermann Hesse
No one sings as purely as those who inhabit the deepest hell—what we take to be the song of angels is their song. — Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena. (Schocken; Rev Upd edition April 7, 1990)
Few people are capable of concerning themselves with the most recent past. Either the present holds us violently captive, or we lose ourselves in the distant past and strive with might and main to recall and restore what is irrevocably lost. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities. (Oxford University Press, March 1999) Originally published… Continue reading Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet. (Dover Publications May 8, 2002) Originally published 1929.