Hermann Hesse

(2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962 / Calw, Württemberg)

At Night On The High Seas - Poem by Hermann Hesse

At night, when the sea cradles me
And the pale star gleam
Lies down on its broad waves,
Then I free myself wholly
From all activity and all the love
And stand silent and breathe purely,
Alone, alone cradled by the sea
That lies there, cold and silent, with a thousand lights.
Then I have to think of my friends
And my gaze sinks into their gazes
And I ask each one, silent, alone:
"Are you still mine"
Is my sorrow a sorrow to you, my death a death?
Do you feel from my love, my grief,
Just a breath, just an echo?"
And the sea peacefully gazes back, silent,
And smiles: no.
And no greeting and now answer comes from anywhere.

Translated by James Wright

Submitted by Holt

Comments about At Night On The High Seas by Hermann Hesse

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (10/5/2016 3:28:00 AM)

    My Hindi Translation:

    रात को जब ये समंदर मुझे सहलाता है
    और सितारे टिम टिमाकर बुलाते हैं
    मै इन बड़ी चौड़ी लहरों पे लेट कर
    बस अपने आप में रहता हूँ
    सभी चिंताओं से मुक्त और प्यार में डूबा
    अकेले, अकेले बस समंदर पर लेता
    पूर्ण शांत वातावरण में, हज़ारों दीप के साथ
    अपने दोस्तों के बारे में सोच
    गुम हो जाता हूँ उस शांति में अकेले
    और एक सवाल पूछता हूँ:
    क्या अब भी तुम मेरे हो?
    क्या मेरा ग़म अब भी तुम्हारा है,
    और मेरी मौत क्या एक मौत है?
    क्या मेरा प्यार अब भी तुम्हे पीढ़ा देता है
    या सिर्फ कुछ साँसे है, और एक गूँजती ध्वनि?
    और ये समंदर मुझे चुपचाप देखता है
    और मुस्कुरा देता है: नहीं
    और कोई स्वागत नहीं और सभी ओर से उत्तर आने लगता है ….
    (Report) Reply

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  • Brian Jani (5/13/2014 12:52:00 PM)

    Hermann Amazing poetic skills here (Report) Reply

  • (8/17/2011 10:30:00 PM)

    This is a wonderful piece. I just love it so much. Maybe at first view it conveys isolation, loss, sadness - but as a comment on the depth of ones inner self and the sometimes fleeting ways of the world's 'white noise' is incomparable... (Report) Reply

  • (3/16/2010 11:36:00 AM)

    My guess is that the last line contains a typographical error and should read:

    and no greeting and no answer comes from anywhere
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/10/2009 9:31:00 AM)

    This is one of my favorite poems of all time.. great addition thanks. (Report) Reply

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What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: sorrow, sea, alone, grief, star, death, night, love, friend, smile

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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