Lying Poets (pt. 4)


Some sensation of voluptuousness and some sensation of tedium: these have as yet been their best contemplation. Ghost-breathing and ghost-whisking, seems to me all the jinglejangling of their harps; what have they known thus far of the fervour of tones!- They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water that it may seem deep. And rather would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but mediaries and mixers are they to me, and half-and-half, and impure! Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good fish; but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God. Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves may well originate from the sea. Certainly, one finds pearls in them: thereby they are the more like hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in them salt slime. They have learned from the sea also its vanity: is not the sea the peacock of peacocks? Even before the ugliest of all buffaloes does it spread out its tail; never does it tire of its lace-fan of silver and silk. Disdainfully does the buffalo glance thereat, close to the sand with its soul, closer still to the thicket, closest, however, to the swamp. What is beauty and sea and peacock-splendour to it! This parable I speak to the poets. Truly, their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of vanity! Spectators seeks the spirit of the poet – should they even be buffaloes!- But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it will become weary of itself. Yes, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned towards themselves. Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of the poets. – Thus spoke Zarathustra.

from: Thus Spoke Zarathustra  by  F. Nietzsche (Ed: Bill Chapko)



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