Thinking Of A Friend At Night Poem by Hermann Hesse

Thinking Of A Friend At Night

Rating: 3.2

In this evil year, autumn comes early...
I walk by night in the field, alone, the rain clatters,
The wind on my hat...And you? And you, my friend?

You are standing- maybe- and seeing the sickle moon
Move in a small arc over the forests
And bivouac fire, red in the black valley.
You are lying- maybe- in a straw field and sleeping
And dew falls cold on your forehead and battle jacket.

It's possible tonight you're on horseback,
The farthest outpost, peering along, with a gun in your fist,
Smiling, whispering, to your exhausted horse.
Maybe- I keep imagining- you are spending the night
As a guest in a strange castle with a park
And writing a letter by candlelight, and tapping
On the piano keys by the window,
Groping for a sound...

- And maybe
You are already silent, already dead, and the day
Will shine no longer into your beloved
Serious eyes, and your beloved brown hand hangs wilted,
And your white forehead split open- Oh, if only,
If only, just once, that last day, I had shown you, told you
Something of my love, that was too timid to speak!

But you know me, you know...and, smiling, you nod
Tonight in front of your strange castle,
And you nod to your horse in the drenched forest,
And you nod to your sleep to your harsh clutter of straw,
And think about me, and smile.
And maybe,
Maybe some day you will come back from the war,
and take a walk with me some evening,
And somebody will talk about Longwy, Luttich, Dammerkirch,
And smile gravely, and everything will be as before,
And no one will speak a word of his worry,
Of his worry and tenderness by night in the field,
Of his love. And with a single joke
You will frighten away the worry, the war, the uneasy nights,
The summer lightning of shy human friendship,
Into the cool past that will never come back.

Translated by James Wright

Submitted by Holt

Monday, January 13, 2003
Topic(s) of this poem: friend
Chinedu Dike 22 October 2019

Well expressed thoughts and feelings nicely brought forth with conviction. An insightful creation.

1 0 Reply
Richard Wlodarski 18 August 2017

Wow! Just as good a poet as he was a writer! One of my all time favourites!

1 0 Reply
Ashek Sarker 21 April 2016

I m just awestruck!

2 0 Reply
Dutendra Chamling 12 November 2015

This poem reminded me my friends.

2 0 Reply
Sanzida Afrin 10 November 2009

I am so much moved reading this much.....

2 1 Reply
Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse

Calw, Württemberg
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