Nietzsche and Hemingway

“Such mighty music from a single soul!
Ah, Wagner, you were superman until
Religion made your song effeminent.
Who can forgive you cowering ‘Parsifal’?”

The old man’s hands fell on piano keys;
But not into a chord. He saw the book
And touched it gently as he would a child,
And said, “I, too, wrote good books once.”

A worm of youth was gnawing in his brain,
Was eating up his passion’s time and form,
Was spreading through his vision’s final space
Its poisonous rest, its waste, oblivion.

“Your pretty thought does not describe hard life.
It tells a wish. You have to save yourself.
Redemption is the honesty of courage–
The guts to bet yourself against all odds.”

The old man grieved because his net of words
Fell on the page, no longer catching him;
And, knowing only what a man should do
With wounded beasts, he kissed the phallic gun.

The last days of Nietzsche appears in Will Durant’s history of philosophy. The suicide of Hemingway is commonly known.

Is “effeminent” a word? Or did you mean “effeminate” ?

Yep. I can’t spel woth a dam. It should be effeminate.


hint–“the worm of youth” is not syphilis; it is repression of the anima.