Zeitgeistlyrik The Swabian Buddha (Satis Shroff)

Zeitgeistlyrik The Swabian Buddha (Satis Shroff)

Basel : Switzerland | Aug 13, 2012 at 4:14 AM PDT
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Angling in Switzerland

Hermann Hesse: The Swabian Buddha (Satis Shroff)

In Summer he walked through Tessin’s

Villages and chestnut forests.

Sat on his folding-chair,

Tried to capture

The magic around him,

With water-colours.

In the warm nights

He tried to sing with words,

The song of the beautiful summer.

A lonely man,

Drunk in his loneliness,

Was elated by Nature

To new heights.

A year after World War I,

He journeyed to Montagnola,

A hamlet overlooking the Lugner lake,

On the southern tip of Switzerland.

Summer was for him

A celebration,

Triumph of the inner summer,

To burn away his inner depression,

That gnawed at him.

He began to write:

‘Klingsor’s last Summer,’

‘Siddhartha,’ ‘Narcis and Goldmund.’

His health didn’t improve in Tessin,

But it became a Heimat,

Away from home,

A much longed for refuge.

He had a personal crisis in 1919,

Like so often in his life.

He left his wife Mia and three kids,

The way Siddhartha Gautama did,

On his search for truth.

Unlike Siddhartha,

He belonged to the literati,

A suspected foreigner,

Who lived on milk,

Rice and macaroni.

He donned his old, worn-out suits,

Ate sweet chestnuts he’d gathered from the forest.

As he stood in his garden,

He saw Monte Bre,

Beyond the palms and magnolias.

By naughty Swiss farmer’s sons,

Who threw stones his way.

To the Swiss from the hamlet,

He was miserly, aloof, not given to talk.

One couldn’t get warm with him.

They did bestow upon him

A honorary citizenship,

After he received the Nobel Prize in ‘46.

The Make War, Not Peace Generation loved him,

He was discovered by beat Poets.

A rock band even called itself ‘Steppen Wolf.’

He took a rucksack and wine.

Trekked to Agra, Arasio,

Certenago and Gentilino.

Did you know they served

Cats with polenta in those days?

He was piqued when he came to know this.

Across the Rhine,

The Germans served prowling cats too,

Albeit with another name: roof-rabbits.

Hunger was widespread during and after the wars years.

He took his psychiatrist by word,

Devoted his life to colours.

3000 paintings were his passionate legacy.

The deep green Luganer lake

Fascinated him.

What Algeria was to Albert Camus,

Was Tessin to him.

Although he was one with Tessin,

He was unsentimental to his wife.

His entire sympathy was reserved

Only for his feline friend.

A stroke in his brain

Ended his solitary life

On August 11, 1062

Was buried in Tessin,

With a backdrop of San Abbondio,

Lined with Cypresses:

Hermann Hesse,

The Swabian Buddha.

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Three Swiss ladies with parasoles walking along the Rhine..
Three Swiss ladies with parasoles walking along the Rhine in Basle (Switzerland).
SatisShroff is based in Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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