Friday, August 14, 2015

holy longing


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

In the calm waters 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 this 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 the light.

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.

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Robert Bly translation


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