Prometheus

This hits me so strong – maybe you too? and it is the combination of Goethe’s poem and my favorite actor, Oskar Werner. Oh what a tremendous crush I had on him: still, so many years after his death,  he makes me shiver and cry and long. Longing not so much for him, see – longing for the ability to connect with strong feelings and the guts to express them.

Here’s the text in German and English translation:

Bedecke deinen Himmel, Zeus,
Mit Wolkendunst
Und übe, dem Knaben gleich,
Der Disteln köpft,
An Eichen dich und Bergeshöhn;
Mußt mir meine Erde
Doch lassen stehn
Und meine Hütte, die du nicht gebaut,
Und meinen Herd,
Um dessen Glut
Du mich beneidest.

Ich kenne nichts Ärmeres
Unter der Sonn als euch, Götter!
Ihr nähret kümmerlich
Von Opfersteuern
Und Gebetshauch
Eure Majestät
Und darbtet, wären
Nicht Kinder und Bettler
Hoffnungsvolle Toren.

Da ich ein Kind war,
Nicht wußte, wo aus noch ein,
Kehrt ich mein verirrtes Auge
Zur Sonne, als wenn drüber wär
Ein Ohr, zu hören meine Klage,
Ein Herz wie meins,
Sich des Bedrängten zu erbarmen.

Wer half mir
Wider der Titanen Übermut?
Wer rettete vom Tode mich,
Von Sklaverei?
Hast du nicht alles selbst vollendet,
Heilig glühend Herz?
Und glühtest jung und gut,
Betrogen, Rettungsdank
Dem Schlafenden da droben?

Ich dich ehren? Wofür?
Hast du die Schmerzen gelindert
Je des Beladenen?
Hast du die Tränen gestillet
Je des Geängsteten?
Hat nicht mich zum Manne geschmiedet—
Die allmächtige Zeit
Und das ewige Schicksal,
Meine Herrn und deine?

Wähntest du etwa,
Ich sollte das Leben hassen,
In Wüsten fliehen,
Weil nicht alle
Blütenträume reiften?

Hier sitz ich, forme Menschen
Nach meinem Bilde,
Ein Geschlecht, das mir gleich sei,
Zu leiden, zu weinen,
Zu genießen und zu freuen sich,
Und dein nicht zu achten,
Wie ich!
(ca. 1789)

Shroud your heaven, Zeus,
With cloudy vapours,
And do as you will, like the boy
That beheads thistles,
With oak-trees and mountain-tops;
You must my Earth
Now abandon to me,
And my hut, which you did not build,
And my hearth,
Whose glow
You begrudge me.

I know of nothing poorer
Under the sun, than you, Gods!
You are barely nourished
By sacrificial offerings
And prayerful exhalations
Your Majesty
And would starve, were
Not children and beggars
Hopeful fools.

When I was a child,
And did not know the in or out,
I turned my wandering eyes toward
The sun, as if beyond it there were
An ear to hear my lament,
A heart like mine,
To take pity on the afflicted.

Who helped me
Against the Titans’ mischief?
Who delivered me from Death,
From Slavery?
Did you not accomplish it all yourself,
Holy, burning Heart?
And glowed, young and good,
Deceived, your thanks for salvation
To the sleeping one above?

I should honour you? For what?
Have you softened the sufferings,
Ever, of the burdened?
Have you stilled the tears,
Ever, of the anguished?
Was I not forged as a Man
By almighty Time
And the eternal Fate,
My masters and yours?

Do you somehow imagine
I should hate life,
Flee to the desert,
Because not every
Flowering dream may bloom?

Here I sit, forming people
In my image;
A race, to be like me,
To suffer, to weep,
To enjoy and delight themselves,
And to mock you –
As I do!

YouTube – Videoer fra denne e-posten

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Please note that nothing written here is intended as medical advice. Readers who think that they need help with a physical or psychological condition are advised to seek a qualified opinion.

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