Friedrich Nietzsche – A Philosophical Poet

The Word

  • The Word

    I am well-acquainted with the lively word:
    It bounds forth so cheerful,
    Greets one with a courteous bow,
    Lovely even in its clumsiness,
    Full of vigor, snorting heartily,
    Then crawls even into the ears of doves,
    Twirls and flutters now,
    And what it does—the word delights.
    But the word remains a delicate creature,
    At once sick and yet soon recovered.
    If you want to save its tiny life,
    You have to hold it gently and delicately,
    Not clench and touch it roughly,
    Yet often it dies from cross looks —
    And then there it lies, so misshapen,
    So soulless, so poor and cold,
    Its tiny corpse transformed terribly,
    Maltreated by death and dying.
    A dead word—an ugly thing,
    A bone-dry rattle.
    Fie to all those ugly trades,
    That put big and tiny words to death!

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