For each beginning bears a special magic (Herman Hesse)

Post Title 12th October 2021

Hello out there, how are you today? I very much hope you and yours are well and if not that you find all the support you need.

Yesterday, I wrote about the magic of sudden change and the week before about the magic of Mondays. This morning I was pondering both posts and remembered a poem I read many, many years ago. It is by German/Swiss novelist Herman Hesse who some of you might know from books like “Siddhartha“. His parents and grandparents were Christian missionaries to Asia. India mainly, I think.

His poetry and novels speak of deep humanity and the need to develop an open mind to understand each other. He often describes outsiders or characters who think outside the box, and his novel “Steppenwolf” (trigger warning: this link leads to a Guardian article that mentions suicide) was a favourite of the Hippies in the 1960s. One of my teachers said, with a twinkle in his eyes, that he wasn’t sure they really understood the book but only loved it because of the band “Steppenwolf”. That made me laugh.
I love Hesse’s style and especially that he was a letter writer. He corresponded with fans from all over the world, and that was long before the internet. He was so interested in other people’s cultures and ideas. I read many of his novels when I was a teenager, and I think his ideas influenced me a lot.

Whenever a change is around the corner, I think of this poem and find comfort:

Steps a poem by Herman Hesse
created with Canva

Steps by Herman Hesse

Like ev’ry flower wilts,

like youth is fading and turns to age,

so also one’s achieving:

Each virtue and each wisdom needs parading in one’s own time,

and must not last forever.

The heart must be, at each new call for leaving,

prepared to part and start without the tragic, without the grief

– with courage to endeavor a novel bond,

a disparate connection:

For each beginning bears a special magic

that nurtures living and bestows protection.

We’ll walk from space to space in glad progression

and should not cling to one as homestead for us.

The cosmic spirit will not bind nor bore us;

It lifts and widens us in ev’ry session:

For hardly set in one of life’s expanses

we make it home, and apathy commences.

But only he, who travels and takes chances,

can break the habits’ paralyzing stances.

It might be, even, that the last of hours will make us once again a youthful lover:

The call of life to us forever flowers… Anon, my heart: Say farewell and recover!

Herman Hesse

May you have a wonderful day and evening

Happy Tuesday

and remember:

You can do it!


4 thoughts on “For each beginning bears a special magic (Herman Hesse)

  1. Unwanted Life says:

    Was great poem, and they’re not wrong about taking chances. You can’t really achieve much or do much in life of you don’t take chances. I wish I was brave enough to take more chances

    • Liz Halton says:

      I think we are exactly where we are supposed to be. When we are ready we take the chances we need to take. Please be gentle and patient with yourself. You’ll get there. Happy Wednesday to you and yours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *