TWO POETS CONTEMPLATE GUINEA FOWL

Photograph by poet De Waal Venter.

The guinea fowl
The guinea fowl counts: one, two, three, four …
Pray what is all that counting for,
Out there among the deep dark pine trees?
The bird, driven by knowledge’s itch,
And doing so without a glitch,
Is counting what it’s worth in guineas.
– Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914)
Translated from German by Johannes Beilharz (© 2008)
Perhaps Morgenstern’s most philosophical volume is a collection of aphorisms published posthumously in 1918 entitled Stufen: Eine Entwickelung in Aphorismen und Tagebuch-Notizen (Stages: A Development in Aphorisms and Diary Notes). It has given rise to a number of celebrated quotations. These include:
• “Home isn’t where our house is, but wherever we are understood.”
• “I shall excavate the strata of my soul.”
• “I’m a man of limits: forever physically, emotionally, morally and artistically on the brink of plunging into the abyss. Yet I manage to keep my balance and possess presence of mind.”
• “I bear no treasures within me. I only possess the power to transform much of what I touch into something of value. I have no depths, save my incessant desire for the depths.” (Translated by David W. Wood)

Related post: https://theonlycin.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/a-queer-bird/

Advertisements

9 Comments Add yours

  1. halfp1nt says:

    Morning Cin 🙂

  2. granny1947 says:

    Morning Cindy….we have thousands of the things around here.
    Noisy buggers!

  3. adeeyoyo says:

    Lots of food for thought in the 4 celebrated quotations!

  4. Smander says:

    For the first three seconds reading this I thought it was about guinea pigs…then I clicked. My fave quote is “I’m a man of limits: forever physically, emotionally, morally and artistically on the brink of plunging into the abyss. Yet I manage to keep my balance and possess presence of mind.” Thanks for this interesting information.

  5. slpmartin says:

    Again something poignant with my morning coffee..thanks Cindy.

  6. adair says:

    I adore guinea fowl.Years ago we had a house robbery and they took loads of stuff.The thing that I am still upset about the most, is that they stole a small painting of guinea fowl.Not valuable but so pretty.

  7. Jingle says:

    nicely done…

  8. slpmartin says:

    Okay…as I was watching the US and England play football this afternoon…I could hear quite clearly the vuvuzelas (not sure about the plural form)..but without a doubt they make an awful noise…I will grant you that!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s