Over man and animal, I grew too tall;
Now when I speak — no one speaks with me at all.
I grew too high and too lonely —
I wait: on what do I wait only?
Close by, the clouds are sitting:
I wait on the first lightning.
— Friedrich Nietzsche - Pine and Lightning (1882)
"This is no book: what do books matter!
What do coffins and shrouds matter!
This is a will, this is a promise,
This is a last bridge to break,
This is an ocean wind, an anchor-weighing,
A surging wheel, a steering course,
The cannons roar with white gunsmoke,
The sea laughs, the monster —"
— Friedrich Nietzsche, “This is no book” (1882)
Once more, ere I move on
And send my glance forward,
Lonely, I raise my hands
To you, to whom I flee,
To whom I, in the deepest depths of my heart,
Have solemnly consecrated altars,
So that, at all times,
His voice would summon me again.
Deeply inscribed upon them glows
The words: To the Unknown God.
I am his, although up till this hour
I’ve remained in the company of sinners:
I am his—and I feel the noosed ropes
That pull me down in the struggle
And, should I flee,
Still force me into his service
I want to know you, unknown one,
You who have reached deep within my soul,
Wandering through my life like a storm,
You incomprehensible one, akin to me!
I want to know you, even serve you.
— Friedrich Nietzsche, “Once More ere I Move On”
"Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you. It is the season for wine, roses, and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment, this moment is your life."
— Omar Khayyám
(Source: goodreads.com, via introspectivepoet)
"Oh what years! What tortures of every kind, what periods of loneliness, of disgust with life! And as an antidote to all that, to both death and life, as it were, I brewed my own potion, those little ideas of mine with their little patches of unclouded sky above them…"
— July 3, 1882 - A Letter from Nietzsche to Lou Salome
"It can’t be helped: I have to cause all my friends distress — just by finally expressing how I got myself out of distress. That metaphysical befogging of all things true and simple, the struggle with reason against reason, which wants to see in each and every thing a wonder and an absurdity — along with an altogether corresponding baroque art of over-excitement and glorified extravagance — I mean the art of Wagner: both these things finally made me more and more ill, and practically alienated me from my good temperament and my natural ability. I now live, more than ever ready for all the good and sound things, a hundred paces closer to the Greeks than ever before: how I myself, down tot he smallest detail, now aspire to live, whereas before I only revered and idolized the wise — in short, if you could empathize with this change and crisis, oh then you would have to wish to experience something similar!"
— July 15, 1878 - A Letter from Nietzsche to Mathilde Maier
"My dear friend, what is this our life? A boat that swims in the sea, and all one knows for certain about it is that one day it will capsize. Here we are, two good old boats that have been faithful neighbors, and above all your hand has done its best to keep me from “capsizing”! Let us then continue our voyage—each for the other’s sake, for a long time yet, a long time! We should miss each other so much! Tolerably calm seas and good winds and above all sun—what I wish for myself, I wish for you, too, and am sorry that my gratitude can find expression only in such a wish and has no influence at all on wind or weather!"
— November 14, 1881: Letter from Friedrich Nietzsche to Franz Overbeck.
"For in much wisdom is much worry, and he who adds wisdom adds pain."
— Ecclesiastes, The Wisdom Books
"Human life must be some kind of mistake."
— Arthur Schopenhauer - On the Vanity of Existence
"Of how many a man may it not he said that hope made a fool of him until he danced into the arms of death!"
— Arthur Schopenhauer - On the Vanity of Existence
"We always hear something of the echo of desolation in a hermit’s writings, something of the whispering tone and shy, roundabout glance of solitudep; out of his mightiest words, even out of his screams, we still hear the sound of a new and dangerous sort of silence, silencing. Anyone who has sat alone, in intimate dissension and dialogue with his soul, year in and year out, by day and by night; anyone whose cave (which might be a labyrinth, but also a gold mine) has turned him into a cave-bear or a treasure-digger or a treasure-keep and dragon; this persons ideas will themselves finally take on a characteristic twilight colour, and odour fully as much of the depths as of decay, something uncommunicative and stubborn that gusts coldly at every passer-by. The hermit does not believe that any philosopher (given that all philosophers have always first been hermits) every expressed his true and final opinions in books: don’t we write books precisely in order to hide what we keep hidden? Indeed, he will doubt whether a philosopher is even capable of ‘final and true’ opinions, whether at the back of his every cave a deeper cave is lying, is bound to lie — a wider, stranger, richer world over every surface, and abyss behind his every ground, beneath his every ‘grounding.’ Every philosophy is a foreground philosophy - this is a hermit’s judgement: ‘There is something arbitrary about the fact that he stopped just here, looked back, looked around, that he did not dig deeper just here, but set down his spade — and there is also something suspicious about it.’ Every philosophy also conceals a philosophy; every opinion is also a hiding place, every word also a mask."
— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
"May you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you — haunt me then."
— Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance."
— Carl Sandburg