Late Autumn Walk Poem by Hermann Hesse

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If I know what love is, it is because of you.

Hermann Hesse

Thinking Of A Friend At Night

In this evil year, autumn comes early...
I walk by night in the field, alone, the rain clatters,
The wind on my hat...And you? And you, my friend?

You are standing--maybe--and seeing the sickle moon
Move in a small arc over the forests
And bivouac fire, red in the black valley.
You are lying--maybe--in a straw field and sleeping
And dew falls cold on your forehead and battle jacket.

It's possible tonight you're on horseback,
The farthest outpost, peering along, with a gun in your fist,
Smiling, whispering, to your exhausted horse.
Maybe--I keep imagining--you are spending the night
As a guest in a strange castle with a park
And writing a letter by candlelight, and tapping
On the piano keys by the window,
Groping for a sound...

--And maybe
You are already silent, already dead, and the day
Will shine no longer into your beloved
Serious eyes, and your beloved brown hand hangs wilted,
And your white forehead split open--Oh, if only,
If only, just once, that last day, I had shown you, told you
Something of my love, that was too timid to speak!

But you know me, you know...and, smiling, you nod
Tonight in front of your strange castle,
And you nod to your horse in the drenched forest,
And you nod to your sleep to your harsh clutter of straw,
And think about me, and smile.
And maybe,
Maybe some day you will come back from the war,
and take a walk with me some evening,
And somebody will talk about Longwy, Luttich, Dammerkirch,
And smile gravely, and everything will be as before,
And no one will speak a word of his worry,
Of his worry and tenderness by night in the field,
Of his love. And with a single joke
You will frighten away the worry, the war, the uneasy nights,
The summer lightning of shy human friendship,
Into the cool past that will never come back.

Hermann Hesse

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.

Hermann Hesse

Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.

Hermann Hesse

How Heavy The Days

How heavy the days are.
There's not a fire that can warm me,
Not a sun to laugh with me,
Everything bare,
Everything cold and merciless,
And even the beloved, clear
Stars look desolately down,
Since I learned in my heart that
Love can die.

Hermann Hesse

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.

William Shakespeare

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.

Hermann Hesse

Perhaps people like us cannot love. Ordinary people can - that is their secret

Hermann Hesse

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us

Hermann Hesse

It is possible for one never to transgress a single law and still be a bastard.

Hermann Hesse

As a body everyone is single, as a soul never.

Hermann Hesse

The truth is lived, not taught.

Hermann Hesse

From my thirteenth year on, it was clear to me that I wanted to be a poet or nothing at all.

Hermann Hesse

Love must not entreat, nor demand. Love must have the power to find its own way to certainty. Then it ceases merely to be attracted and begins to attract. Your love, Sinclair, is attracted by me. When it begins to attract me, I will come. I will not bestow a gift, I must be won.

Hermann Hesse

The best weapons against the infamies of life are courage, wilfulness and patience. Courage strenthens, wilfulness is fun and patience provides tranquility.

Hermann Hesse

Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

Hermann Hesse

Whenever books are burned, sooner or later men also are burned.

Hermann Hesse

Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.

Hermann Hesse

All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.

Hermann Hesse

Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strength, its beauties and cruelties; it accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils. Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap.

Hermann Hesse
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