Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi), each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.
Hermann Hesse was born on 2 July 1877 in the Black Forest town of Calw in Württemberg, Germany. Both of Hesse's parents served in India at a mission under the auspices of the Basel Mission, a Protestant Christian missionary society. Hesse's mother, Marie Gundert, was born at such a mission in India in 1842. In ... more »
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Hermann Hesse Poems
My Pillow gazes upon me at night Empty as a gravestone; I never thought it would be so bitter To be alone,
At Night On The High Seas
At night, when the sea cradles me And the pale star gleam Lies down on its broad waves, Then I free myself wholly
Lying In Grass
Is this everything now, the quick delusions of flowers, And the down colors of the bright summer meadow, The soft blue spread of heaven, the bees' song, Is this everything only a god's
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?
A Swarm Of Gnats
Many thousand glittering motes Crowd forward greedily together In trembling circles. Extravagantly carousing away
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,
Only on me, the lonely one, The unending stars of the night shine, The stone fountain whispers its magic song,
As every flower fades and as all youth Departs, so life at every stage, So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
On A Journey
Don't be downcast, soon the night will come, When we can see the cool moon laughing in secret Over the faint countryside, And we rest, hand in hand.
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
You brothers, who are mine, Poor people, near and far, Longing for every star, Dream of relief from pain,
Across The Fields
Across the sky, the clouds move, Across the fields, the wind, Across the fields the lost child Of my mother wanders.
In Secret We Thirst
Graceful, spiritual, with the gentleness of arabesques our life is similar to the existence of fairies
In Weihnachtszeiten reis' ich gern Und bin dem Kinderjubel fern Und geh' in Wald und Schnee allein.
Quotationsmore quotations »
''To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning. It is a very serious task, young man, and possibly a tragic one.''Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Father Jacobus, in The Glass Bead Game, ch. 4 (1943, trans. 1960).
You treat world history as a mathematician does mathematics, in which nothing but laws and formulas exist, no reality, no good and evil, no time, no yesterday, no tomorrow, nothing but an eternal, sha...Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Father Jacobus, in The Glass Bead Game, ch. 4 (1943, trans. 1960).
What I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood ...Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. "For Madmen Only," Steppenwolf (1927).
''One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time.''Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Frau Eva, in Demian, ch. 5 (1960).
''The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation.''Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist, poet. Letter, 1950. "Montagnola," Hermann Hesse: A Pictorial Biography, ed. Volker Michels (1973).
Comments about Hermann Hesse
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My Pillow gazes upon me at night
Empty as a gravestone;
I never thought it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Not to lie down asleep in your hair.
I lie alone in a silent house,
The hanging lamp darkened,
And gently stretch out my hands
To gather in yours,
And softly press my warm mouth
Toward you, and kiss myself, exhausted and weak-
Then suddenly I'm awake
And all around me the cold night grows still.
The star in the window shines clearly-
Where is your blond hair,
Where your sweet mouth?
Now I drink pain in every delight
And poison in ...