The lonely man is the weakest one.
Not because he is alone but because
He is denying what he is carrying
Our soul, getting deeper, is the broad
river of life.
The path on which you are walking alone,
is leading away from yourself.
by Pär Fabian Lagerkvist (1891 – 1974), Sweden
No man is an island, entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main;
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were,
As well as if a manor of thy friends or of thy own were;
Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
by John Donne (1572 – 1631), England
So many stones are thrown at me,
They no longer scare.
Fine, now, is the snare,
Among high towers a high tower.
I thank its builders: may
They never need a friend.
Here I can see the sun rise earlier
And see the glory of the day’s end.
And often into the window of my room
Fly the winds of a northern sea,
A dove eats wheat from my hands…
And the Muse’s sunburnt hand
Divinely light and calm
Finishes the unfinished page.
– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (Summer 1914, Slepnyovo)
– from Белая стая (White Flock, 1917) translation by D. M. Thomas
I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
And e’en the dearest–that I loved the best–
Are strange–nay, rather stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below–above the vaulted sky.
by John Clare (1793 – 1864)