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Terreson Profile
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A poem by Goethe


If I have posted this already I cannot find it. It is a poem by the one culture hero who has passed all of my tests, Goethe. In all the others I have found limitation. Not in him. There is a reason Napolean said of him, first time they met, himself at the height of his power, Vous etes un homme. I cannot find the poem on line. Here is a prose translation.

~When I look at the works of the masters, I see what they did; when I look at my own bits and pieces, I see what I ought to have done.

Please take my life as a whole, for that is how I lead it. Other men sleep off their follies; mine remain in black and white.

I cannot divide life, cannot divide what is within and what is without; I must give all of you the whole, if I am to live with you and with myself. I have always written just what I felt, just what I thought; and thus, my dear friends, I split myself up and remain always one and the same.~

I first read this poem easily 20 years ago. The sensation it caused was peculiar. I felt as if I was looking in a mirror. But I am no Goethe. No man has been since or will be for at least another 1,000 years. I think it was Gide who wrote an essay about him. Itemizing as if drawing up a spreadsheet all of the artists, philosophers, even scientists Goethe's story has impacted. Not influenced. Impacted like a huge chunk of stellar rock smacking into the planet.

The poem is called Humility.

Tere

  
Jun/2/2012, 2:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: A poem by Goethe


Tere, thank you for sharing this poem and background info about Goethe's impact on so many, including yourself.
Jun/5/2012, 5:21 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 


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