Wasteland Within

There are many poems that attempt to glimpse the lives of others, often famous others. Popular culture perpetuates the myth that Nietzsche was hollow and his work nihlistic. This poem presents a supplementary assessment.


Robert Haas

Poor Nietzsche in Turin, eating sausage his mother
Mails to him from Basel. A rented room,
A small square window framing August clouds
Above the mountain. Brooding on the form
Of things: the dangling spur
Of an Alpine columbine, winter-tortured trunks
Of cedar in the summer sun, the warp in the aspen’s trunk
Where it torqued up through the snowpack.

“Every where the wasteland grows; woe
To him whose wasteland is within.”

Dying of syphilis. Trimming a luxuriant mustache.
In love with the opera of Bizet.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. Haas is another of my favorite poets, and Nietzsche one of the few philosophers I actually enjoy reading. The final two stanzas evoke feelings in dread as well as sadness in me :(


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