From Tagore (Indian) to Hesse (German) and back: Life between Heaven and Earth and before birth

A special friend has sent me special Tagore poems. I always loved the book Fireflies with lots of little poems. But Hesse’s poem is at least as meaningful.

My bilingual version is on DAS LEBEN, DAS ICH SELBST GEWÄHLT – Hermann Hesse

This is translated by Alan Collins – for dear Sabine McNeill, who was arrested yesterday by slaves of the ruling class, being millionaire murderers and paedophiles in our corrupt Queen’s Parliament.


Before into this earthly life I came
I was forewarned how it would go for me.
There was the sorrow, there was the blame,
There was the truckload of my misery,
Packed full of vices that would keep me prisoner,
The dreadful mistakes that would stick to my name.
The lighting rages that would rumble and roar,
The fury and hatred, the pride and the shame.

Yet there were also days of much joy and pleasure,
Filled full of light and with beautiful dreams in place,
Where a plague of lawyers were no more the measure,
And over all was falling that spiritual gift of grace,
Where love was threaded through each earthly robe,
Given to those detached as others have been before,
Who raised their thoughts above this worldly globe
As if they were the chosen ones of yore.

Then I was shown both the bad and the best,
The abundance of my worst errors, once again.
The wounds that had to bleed, and all the rest,
The helpful hands of Angels and some men.
And when outstretched I saw my future life,
I heard a voice that posed the hardest question,
Would I dare face with courage all that strife
When the final hour for my decision came.

Once more I measured all the worst derision –
“This is the life that I chose myself, you see!” –
And answered with a final firm decision,
Then stepped into my brand new destiny,
And quietly shouldered every fate as shown
When I was born into this world anew,
Without complaint though often I would moan
Because, unborn, I had confirmed my due.


It’s that last line that always moves me deeply.
For it helps me see that I am ‘on track’,
accepting my destiny… With many thanks to Alan!!!


3 thoughts on “From Tagore (Indian) to Hesse (German) and back: Life between Heaven and Earth and before birth

  1. Remembering you liked my poetic version of STUFEN on 22 May, I woke up the morning after your arrest, with the aim of sharing the idea in the above poem (which you have emphasised) in my mind, and decided to try my hand again. I’m pleased it was helpful and “on target” – unlike other messages that have been written by some of your critics who suspect a conspiracy if offered a cup of tea, and can’t see the wood for the trees”. I began writing poems at 21 years of age in 1965. I’m now preparing to publish a few volumes, at last, called ‘Sculptures in Sound’ – in limited editions so I won’t pay any income tax – A guiding principle of mine, since hearing Bob Dylan sing “Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift!” while I was firing British bullets over the heads of Yemen freedom fighters in Aden to be sure I did not to kill any, before purchasing my discharge & gaining my own freedom. As for my poems, they are equally radical and quite unsettling to the sensitivities of the academic middle class who I have shown some, while realising that they pretend to be socialist but invest in stocks and shares, and talk about revolution in Quaker meetings, which they imagine has something to do same-sex marriage. (I’ve tried to tell them that homosexuals ACTUALLY do have an EQUAL right to marry a member of the opposite sex, instead of using the words “love” and “lust” as synonyms (there’s a joke in there, somewhere)! Anyway, you are far too busy with this mission, which is “made to measure” your own particular gifts, to have the time to read any of my poems. (Not that a verse translation is not somehow, mine!) But I’ll send you a signed copy of Sculptures in Sound, in a few years, when the global stock market is no more! In case you decide to ask for a second opinion as far as the clinical diagnosis of Ricky Dearman is concerned, being a serial killer with a narcissistic personality disorder, in my view, I have suggested a highly qualified consultant psychiatrist, called Dr Alistair Clarke-Walker. When I say “you” I mean the children’s mother, of course, who should seek some better advice than she is getting from Abraham, who sounds like one of those Yippies (Freeman on the Road) who thinks our legal system can be undermined, simply by ignoring it… He’s not the only head-banger, of course, because I saw another one challenging the arrogant policewoman who arrested you, which did not do you any favours. However, I do hope that someone will persuade the mother of the children who you are fighting to protect, to seek a proper psychiatric diagnosis from Dr Alistair Clarke-Walker. (Ahed Therapies) in Wimple Street. He is has a Masters degree in both Psychiatry and Pharmacology, and I assure you that he is always both willing and able to write down the truth, as he can see it – even if it reflects badly on others in his profession. God bless y’all!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In case Ella realises that the ball should be in her hands – not Abraham’s (who, although he shares a passion for revolution through social justice remains confused about how to achieve it, and does not realise that he seems to have taken Ricky’s place as a her controlling and dominant male partner, albeit sharing the usual charming passive aggressive characteristics of most New Age guru’s, upon the sensitive foundations of a shared anti-social tendency) here are the contact details of the consultant psychiatrist who I have recommend might be asked by Ella to offer the court a professional diagnosis of R.D.’s mental condition. He saved my life in 2009 by challenging a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia, in my case, so I can recommend his expertise to anyone faced with any personal or domestic issues tending towards a divorce or the family courts. Would Abraham be willing seek this type of clarity about his rather contrary anarchist tendencies? If not, why not!?

    Dr Alastair Clarke-Walker
    BSc (Hons) Pharmacology., MD., LRCS., LRCP., LMSSA., MRCPsych
    Consultant Psychiatrist
    Ahed Therapies
    85 Wimpole Street
    W1G 9RJ
    Tel: 020 7993 4151
    Tel: 029-2002-6288


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