Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the holy longing

Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
because the massman will mock it right away.
I  praise what is truly alive,
what longs to flame to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights
where you were begotten,  where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you
when you see the silent candle burning..

Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making
sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter,
now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven't experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.

~ Goethe
translation by Robert Bly
art by van gogh