Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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Katherine Gough Female, 34, Australia (4/23/2005 10:37:00 PM)

I am just looking for a little bit of help with this poem I'm analyzing at the moment. I chose The Poet, by hermann hesse. I want to thank everyone who's helped me so far, but there are still a few sections of the poem I'm unsure about. Any help/information or opinions you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Here's the poem:
Only on me, the lonely one,
The unending stars of the night shine,
The stone fountain whispers its magic song,
To me alone, to me the lonely one
The colorful shadows of the wandering clouds
Move like dreams over the open countryside.
Neither house nor farmland,
Neither forest nor hunting privilege is given to me,
What is mine belongs to no one,
The plunging brook behind the veil of the woods,
The frightening sea,
The bird whir of children at play,
The weeping and singing, lonely in the evening, of a man secretly in love.
The temples of the gods are mine also, and mine
the aristocratic groves of the past.
And no less, the luminous
Vault of heaven in the future is my home:
Often in full flight of longing my soul storms upward,
To gaze on the future of blessed men,
Love, overcoming the law, love from people to people.
I find them all again, nobly transformed:
Farmer, king, tradesman, busy sailors,
Shepherd and gardener, all of them
Gratefully celebrate the festival of the future world.
Only the poet is missing,
The lonely one who looks on,
The bearer of human longing, the pale image
Of whom the future, the fulfillment of the world
Has no further need. Many garlands
Wilt on his grave,
But no one remembers him.
1) What is meant by 'The temples of the gods are mine also, and mine
the aristocratic groves of the past'.
2) What do you think that this is meant by '
Often in full flight of longing my soul storms upward,
To gaze on the future of blessed men,
Love, overcoming the law, love from people to people.
I find them all again, nobly transformed:
Farmer, king, tradesman, busy sailors,
Shepherd and gardener, all of them
Gratefully celebrate the festival of the future world'.

Sorry about this, but I really would appreciate your opinions as I am feeling clueless! !
Katherine

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  • Michael Shepherd (4/24/2005 8:53:00 AM) Post reply

    Your two questions relate, I'd say, to two deep concerns of serious poets. First, they wish to comprehend and encopmpass in their work, all that is worthwhile of the past - classical mythology, classical liteaure and thought. Second, they wish in their short life to consider what the future might bring if the best minds of the present time could bring their love to all.
    I would say that these are the great aims of the most serious poets, always; curiously, the second aim, for the future, is less frequently considered - perhaps because the fear of death gets in the way of thought - although all [poets, surely, are writing for the future beyond the present fame or lack of it?

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