Hermann Hesse

(2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962 / Calw, Württemberg)

A Swarm Of Gnats


Many thousand glittering motes
Crowd forward greedily together
In trembling circles.
Extravagantly carousing away
For a whole hour rapidly vanishing,
They rave, delirious, a shrill whir,
Shivering with joy against death.
While kingdoms, sunk into ruin,
Whose thrones, heavy with gold, instantly scattered
Into night and legend, without leaving a trace,
Have never known so fierce a dancing.


Translated by James Wright


Submitted by Holt

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about this poem (A Swarm Of Gnats by Hermann Hesse )

  • Gold Star - 10,568 Points * Sunprincess * (4/28/2014 9:20:00 PM)

    .......life comes in many shapes and sizes....this is an amazing piece....enjoyed... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie ***** ********* (8/17/2006 12:10:00 PM)

    A Wow poem full of natures imagery and the ever present shining example of life as we could know it, if only we opened our eyes and looked! Beautiful work to aspire to, Tai (Report) Reply

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