7 comments on “Hermann Hesse, Auf Wanderung

    • Yes, it is a little gem of a poem – it has been with me for some time. The book I found it in was originally published in 1970, I got it used for 50 cents. Pages are tanning a bit around the edges, pages a bit brittle. I was never happy with the translation, mine is on the blog post. The translator, James Wright (American, 1927-1980) is an interesting poet as well.



    • Thanks for stopping in and commenting jenny – commentary really brings poetry to life. I thinks some wag somewhere once said that no one has heard more ridiculous comments than a painting hanging in a museum – that simply cannot be said about poetry IMHO – poems need to be read, and then read out loud, and then talked about and figured out. I guess that’s one thing I really like about them.

      I suppose it is a sad poem – but what strikes me are the elemental images – the cool, laughing moon, the faint countryside, resting hand in hand, the crosses, the wind, the snow… I think of it as stark rather than necessarily sad – but sadness pervades the imagery I’ll grant that.

      Oh and interestingly enough the work “stark” is the German word for “strong”.


    • Thanks lali for dropping in.

      Yes, we here in sunny Arizona know little of such an obviously winter-setting in the mid-northern latitudes. Winter is coming to many places and that is one reason I posted this poem, besides it is one of my all-time favs and conjures up powerful elemental images of peace, repose, coldness, emptiness, momentary love and contact, and the silent eternity that awaits us all.


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