The patient looks outs into the garden burning
With Christmas* stars of vermillion fire.
They flower, he feels, nicely on that bush together,
But he is no longer akin to himself.
Timidly he plumbs his inhalations night and day,
Sinking into that inner circle of being him.
Has he ever breathed without doubt?
How strange that now he thinks each breath.
People are so dear and ill-timed.
They offer their care, which lingers.
The patient is ashamed because of that stress
Which accentuates all talk of hope.
On his blanket lies the morning paper
With a giant headline screaming.
From the corner of his eye the patient reads
What already escapes his memory.
What, bombs, hecatombs slaughtered, downfalls
Of people and cities, early and evening?
Is this the world then? —The ego is a throng
Of identity burst long ago.
The I is like one of those swarms of bees,
Pendent, ready to fly, relocate …
It is filled with only one desire: For warmth,
And unmindful as forever is.
Franz Werfel's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The Patient by Franz Werfel )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(10 February 1970-)
(27 December 1797 – 15 February 1869)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
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