Hohle Menschen

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Neben The Waste Land, einem Gedicht aus dem Jahr 1922, ist The Hollow Men von 1925 wohl T. S. Eliots bekanntestes Gedicht, dessen Aussage, dass die jetzige Welt nur das andere Reich des Todes sei, jeden aufhorchen lassen sollte. 

Wem das untenstehende Gedicht „Die hohlen Männer“ gefällt, der möge auch das oben verlinkte Gedicht „The Waste Land“ lesen, das wie folgt beginnt: „APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.

The Hollow Men

Mistah Kurtz – he dead
A penny for the Old Guy

I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! 
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour, 
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom 
Remember us – if at all – not as lost 
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams 
In death’s dream kingdom 
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column 
There, is a tree swinging 
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn 
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom 
Let me also wear

Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves 
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer –

Not that final meeting 
In the twilight kingdom

III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand 
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom 
Waking alone
At the hour when we are 
Trembling with tenderness 
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star 
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom 
The hope only
Of empty men.

V

Here we go round the prickly pear 
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear 
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea 
And the reality 
Between the motion 
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception 
And the creation 
Between the emotion 
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire 
And the spasm 
Between the potency 
And the existence 
Between the essence 
And the descent 
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is 
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends 
This is the way the world ends 
This is the way the world ends 
Not with a bang but a whimper.

„We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.“

T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)

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