Poetry in Prose

Poetry in Prose

Geographical Sermons

… is one of May’s first published non-poetry work; it was lost after 1876 and only recovered after his death.


Excerpt from: Inn-Nu-Woh To Merhameh, Lulu.com

A Drop of Water

[From: Geographische Predigten, Ch. 2, 1875/6]

The drop that falls out of the cloud, to seek the ocean and then ascend again along the sun’s ray, is continuously working to dissolve, carry away and build anew and forms the key with which the fertility of the Earth opens up, to bring forth life and movement even from dead stone.



[From: Geographische Predigten, Ch. 8, 1875/6]

…at the point where ‘Heaven and Earth’ merge, they, for a short time, clothe an immortal spirit in earthly garb to enable him to climb up to a higher step of existence.



[From: Geographische Predigten, Ch. 7, 1875/6]

Just like one wave displaces another in the surf, and one swell battles with the other, so life also displays a never-ending contest between emergence and disappearance, the future and the present, one and the other. Only spirit has a right to be eternal, the physical, that which has been created by spirit and is at his mercy may only exist during the short time it is required for his evolution and must disappear after it has fulfilled its purpose to make room for new fertile manifestations.


Hakawati And Phantasy

[From: ‘Babel und Bibel’, 1906, Act 1, scene 3]

Phantasy is no beggar and no folly to be laughed at.
 She will only visit those who know Sitara, the wonderful land of star flowers high up in the mountains, no others. She is visiting you today only to please me; therefore I warn you. Beware of her!


Eternal Cycle

[From: Geographische Predigten, ‘Herbstgedanken’ (‘Thoughts Of Autumn’), 1875/6]

May the leaves fall and the flowers wilt, nothing vanishes without a trace by falling and wilting, instead dear old Mother Earth only calls her children back to return them to life rejuvenated and more beautiful. And so death is not the end of existence, but a return to the original energy in order to utilize the achievements of this life for a new existence.



[From: Geographische Predigten, ‘Ehrlich waehrt am Laengsten’ (‘Honesty Is The Best Policy’), 1875/6]

One of the first basic conditions of coexistence is reciprocal honesty. Only through being honest can the result of combined work be favourable, on a large scale as well as in the small detail. And yet, how very much do we err in this respect!


A Soul for Plants

[From: Geographische Predigten, Ch. 4, 1875/6]

…there are certainly many [people] who would shake their head in bemusement at the word ‘plant soul’. And yet, organic life cannot be imagined without some sort of spiritual energy through which an existence becomes organic in the first place.


Divine Spark

[From: Geographische Predigten, Ch. 8, 1875/6]

Once the divine spark has been lit, it is impossible to extinguish it; may the thinker sigh under excommunication and become a martyr of his own conviction, it is still impossible to shackle the achievements of his spirit with interdiction, and the idea that illuminates him lives on and transfers to other spirits where, amid storm and urge, it must develop and improve ever further.



[From: Geographische Predigten, Deutsche Spruechwoerter, 1875/6]

And furthermore, the same thing applies to friendship as it does to wealth: it isn’t easy to get rich, but to remain rich is even more difficult. It is just as hard to find a true friend, even tougher yet, to keep him.



[From: ‘Deadly Dust’, 1880]

“Sharlih! The wind kisses the flower and moves on but the flower remembers him; may the flower who never forgets Winnetou, the Chief of the Apache, dwell in your heart. The Great Spirit looks mercifully upon all of his human children, but they don’t remember his grace and love, instead they kill each other. The palefaces will commit genocide among the red men, but the love of Great Manitou dwells in the heart of my white brother; his thoughts will always be in the prairie, and when Winnetou joins his forefathers, he will see his brave brother again in the Eternal Hunting Grounds. Howgh!”

More: Inn-Nu-WohTo Merhameh, Lulu.com