FSG Classics

Hermann Hesse; Selected, translated, and with an introduction by James Wright

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

96 Pages



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Not many American readers seem to be aware that Hermann Hesse, author of the epic novels Steppenwolf and Siddhartha, among many others, also wrote poetry, the best of which the poet James Wright has translated and included in this book. This is a special volume—filled with short, direct poems about love, death, loneliness, the seasons—that is imbued with some of the imagery and feeling of Hesse's novels but that has a clarity and resonance all its own, a sense of longing for love and for home that is both deceptively simple and deeply moving.


Translator's Note

I Know, You Walk
Across the Fields
Ravenna (1)
Ravenna (2)
Lonesome Night
A Swarm of Gnats
The Poet
Mountains at Night
At Night on the High Seas
To a Chinese Girl Singing
Departure from the Jungle
Evil Time
On a Journey
Ode to Hölderlin
Lying in the Grass
How Heavy the Days . . .
In a Collection of Egyptian Sculptures
Without You
The First Flowers
Spring Day
Holiday Music in the Evening
Thinking of a Friend at Night
Autumn Day
To Children
Flowers, Too
Uneasiness in the Night
All Deaths


Praise for Poems

"Rilke, T. S. Eliot, Gide, Thomas Mann rightly called Hesse a master . . . His fiction achieves the glorious anachronism of art: created in the past, it speaks to us in the present. It glorifies the strategies of attempting to become a full human being and it celebrates the nobility of failure."—Webster Schott, Life

"Hesse is a writer of suggestion, of nuance, of spiritual intimation."—The Christian Science Monitor

"[Hesse was] one of the defining spirits of our century."—Ralph Freedman, Princeton University

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Hermann Hesse; Selected, translated, and with an introduction by James Wright

  • Herman Hesse (1877-1962) was a German poet and novelist. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962.

  • Hermann Hesse ©Suhrkamp Verlag