Friday, January 05, 2007

Poem of the Week 1/8/2007: from The Drunken Song

from The Drunken Song

O man! Take care!
What does Deep Midnight now declare?
'I sleep, I sleep--
From deepest dream I rise for air:--
The world is deep,
And deeper than day had been aware.
Deep is its woe--
Joy--deeper still than misery:
Woe says: Be gone!
Yet all joy wants Eternity--
--wants deepest, deep Eternity!

Friedrich Nietzsche 1885
Thus Spake Zarathustra trans. Graham Parkes

Though translated, which is not ideal, I was struck by this poem reading Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In context, it is far more beautiful than it is alone, here, but I ask you, when reading it, to imagine yourself rising to eternity, to meet the world head on, to learn that everything is something--every thought, tree, bird, and person is new to you every single second... new and simultaneously eternal, according to Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence. Each and every moment is eternal, has the weight of eternity...

Joy and woe are the two deepest emotions, perhaps. Nietzsche writes of their interconnection, of the mingling of love and grief, joy and woe etc. I wish that I could make you all read this book. Well, instead, I will quote another passage. Maybe that will help place the gorgeousness of the poem, or help you feel/understand it.

You higher humans, what do you think? Am I a soothsayer? A dreamer? Drunkard? A dream interpreter? A midnight-bell?
A drop of dew? A haze and fragrance of eternity? Do you not hear it? Do you not smell it? Just now my world became perfect, midnight is also midday--
Pain is also a joy, curse is also a blessing, night is also a sun--be gone! or will you learn: a wise man is also a fool.
Did you ever say Yes to a single joy? Oh, my friends, then you said Yes to all woe as well. All things are chained together, entwined, in love--
--if you ever wanted one time a second time, if you ever said 'You please me happiness! Quick! Moment!' then you wanted it all back!
--All anew, all eternally, chained together, entwined, in love, oh then you loved the world--
--you eternal ones, love it eternally and for all time: and even to woe you say: Be gone, but come back! For all joy wants--Eternity!
- TSZ p. 283

Better?

1 comment:

Tracy said...

this sort of reminds me of I <3 Huckabees in the sense of 'the blanket' that we are all connect and if you look close enough you can't tell where my nose ends and space begins because they are one. It's really comforting to think of eternity because it's infinite in each direction and then there you are, stuck in the middle (with you?) It's kinda neat.
I love thinking that we are all connected but separate, we are in eternity in a moment. I think it's the balance that's comforting, the opposing energy to a situation to balance it out. kudos!