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The Seasons of the Soul: The Poetic Guidance…

The Seasons of the Soul: The Poetic Guidance and Spiritual Wisdom of… (edition 2011)

by Hermann Hesse, Ludwig Max Fischer (Translator), Andrew Harvey (Foreword)

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Title:The Seasons of the Soul: The Poetic Guidance and Spiritual Wisdom of Hermann Hesse
Authors:Hermann Hesse
Other authors:Ludwig Max Fischer (Translator), Andrew Harvey (Foreword)
Info:North Atlantic Books (2011), Paperback, 136 pages
Collections:Meaning of Life Books

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The Seasons of the Soul: The Poetic Guidance and Spiritual Wisdom of Hermann Hesse by Hermann Hesse



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The Seasons of the Soul is a very reflective collection--which is representative of the majority of Hesse's entire corpus. The presentation of this book coordinated by Ludwig Max Fischer framed the reflections and spiritual wisdom fragments of Hesse in an accessible way, particularly with an introduction to each part. The collection is divided in five parts (or seasons): love, inspiration, nature, divine, Life/Time. Part one on love read too much like a Victorian poem which is what kept this collection from being a five star rating for me. It was far too polite and careful and lacked rawness and sincerity. Sections 2-5 however are absolute perfection. Everything is so quotable, I already want to re-read it. Although the collection is translated Fischer did an excellent job. If anything was lost in this process I'll never know. My favourite poem was in the "inspiration" section called "Books" mostly because of this stanza: "all the books of the world/ will not bring you happiness,/ but build a secret path/ toward your heart." ( )
  AndreeaMarin | Mar 1, 2017 |
This short book is well structured, with an informative and detailed introduction to each section of poems. Each of these excellent introductions give an intimate sense of Hesse the poet, his passions and his torments.

The poems that follow were, like most poetry volumes, made up of verses that resonated deeply with me, and others that were interesting to read. Each reader would, I'm sure, find their own favourite poem.

Some of the poems were, unexpectedly, less lyrical than I expected from a mystical poet. Perhaps some essence was lost in translation (always a difficult task) or perhaps this is Hesse's Germanic voice - rather sombre and heavier in tone than other mystical poets such as Yeats, Rilke, Kabir or Gibrain.

Overall, this book is very good. The introductory pieces followed by a selection of poems grouped into common themes (Love, Inspiration, Nature, Dialogue with Divine and Seasons of Life) made this easy to read and accessible. The poems in the section on The Seasons of Life and the Passage of Time are particularly moving. ( )
  JudyCroome | Oct 15, 2012 |
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When the quiet hour of dusk approaches
I brighten my room with the light of a candle
. . .
Instead of being bombarded by pictures of chaos
I imagine nothing but a world full of light!
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