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The Seasons of the Soul

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Vowing at an early age “to be a poet or nothing at all,” Hermann Hesse rebelled against formal education, focusing on a rigorous program of independent study that included literature, philosophy, art, and history. One result of these efforts was a series of novels that became counterculture bibles that remain widely influential today. Another was a body of evocative spirit ...more
Kindle Edition, 133 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1988)
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Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
“To cut through the charades of this world, to despise it, may be the aim of great thinkers. My only goal in life is to be able to love this world, to see it and myself and all beings with the eyes of love and admiration and reverence …”

Hesse is one of the writers I fell in love with at school, at a time when many other people despised reading because it was a task, because they had to. I was lucky. Our curriculum was rather interesting and allowed for some flexibility in the choice of authors
Shaimaa Ali
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
“I was an orphan whose parents happened to be alive.” -- Hermann Hesse about his early life.

Reading such a confession is not easy! Seeing two parents, you may imagine the easy-going life , the well-raised children but life was never that straight's full of absurdity! I learnt from great authors like Hesse & Kafka that the road to greatness begins with sufferings & parents cruelty!
In this amazing journey in Hesse's world, you are intertwined with life, with nature. You are facing yo
Judy Croome
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spiritual seekers, mystics, poets
This short book is well structured, with an informative and detailed introduction to each section of poems. Each of these excellent introductions give an intimate sense of Hesse the poet, his passions and his torments.

The poems that follow were, like most poetry volumes, made up of verses that resonated deeply with me and others that were interesting to read. Each reader would, I'm sure, find their own favourite poem.

Some of the poems were, unexpectedly, less lyrical than I expected from a mys
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anything Meister Hermann Hesse wrote is pure literary delight. This man is incredible, when I read his words I no longer feel quite so insane or the crushing solitude of having ideas shared by so few. I have to learn German just so I can read Hesse in his native tongue.
Reem R.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a masterpiece! Beautifully written! In love with Hesse's style.
And these two are my favorites:

“Now and Then

Now and then everything feels wrong and desolate,
and sprawling in pain, weak and exhausted,
every effort reverts to grief,
every joy collapses with broken wings.
And our longing listens for distant summons,
aching to receive news filled with joy.
But we still miss bliss,
fortunate fates elude from afar.
Now is the time to listen within,
tend our inner garden mindfully
until new flowers
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Hesse muses about the earth, the sky, and loneliness. Love, life, birth and death are derivatives. Most poems can be seen as words of "spiritual wisdom", there is not much elating poetry in them. Some of his poems are good though, for instance Valse Brillante (1901), and Autumn Takes Hold of My Life (1919).

Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Quickly illustrates an idea or profound emotion with an easy arrangement of words. Feels like your grandpa just sharing his most important life lessons and memory with you. Recommended.
I loved this. I've always been drawn to Hesse's writing, but the purity and clarity reflected in this translation of some of Hesse's poems is beautiful.
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
El libro incluye un calendario con acuarelas de Hesse, reproducciones de manuscritos y poemas en alemán y español. Dividido por meses, esta lectura lo transporta a uno a una Alemania pintoresca y transmite las sensaciones de cada estación para deleite de todos los sentidos.


La frialdad de la civilización es contrastada con la calidez y pureza de la naturaleza. Hesse critica el consumismo, la pérdida de la inocencia, la infelicidad y la desviación de lo que para él es la sabiduría absolut
Alex Weinle
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hesse's power lies undeniably in his philosophical insight, his ability to give complex inner states an objective corollary, he is no Eliot or Auden. That said, the charm here is hearing him approach subjects with a private openness.
Joseph Inzirillo
An unbelievably amazing collection of sage poems by Herman Hesse. Well worth the read and contemplation.
Sarah O'Flaherty
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another hugely inspiring writer. This is a beautiful book of poetry.
John Campbell
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books, 2019
So my life drifts slowly through time
and will wane before long and still reach the placeless space
where the tides of desire rejoin the timeless ocean.
-from "Like A Wave"

Translated poetry (from German to English in this case) always gives cause to raise a brow, but Ludwig Fischer, PhD and professor of German and comparative mythology, seems to have dispelled the claim that "poetry is what gets lost in translation." This is a great collection of work and I feel that Hermann Hesse's voice rings tr
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am not an avid reader of poetry, and when I initially started reading this I thought this was a good 101 book since the metaphors and allusions are fairly easy to grasp. But, this book ended up being much more, the words feel like you're outside on a day where the sun is beaming lightly on you and a gentle breeze flows by you. It's cathartic, filled with common sense wisdom we tend to forget. Spiritually a reminder of why we're here, and a contemplative look on how to approach everything. He w ...more
Hajar Masrour
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'You tell me the seeking of the self is less important than the finding of appropriate social relations, but these are not two different matters, whoever searches for his true Self is at the same time looking for the laws of all life, because the innermost being is the same for all human beings. It's the divine essence, it's the spirit. That's why the Brahmin greets each stranger with 'Tat twam asi' - this is you! '
Jan 1$
This book will disturb you a bit in how powerful it is. I've been in some pretty bad moods and it sunk me lower at times (which I find helps distracts me from how I feel). It's also alleviated some of my fears about life while reading it. I wish this wasn't a library book because I think I should re-read this many times.
Yuni Amir
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My heart couldn't take it reading The Seasons of Life and the Passage of Time. He sounded very wounded, heartbroken.

Last line (taken from his poem titled Stages): "well, then, my heart, take leave and heal."
Simonetta Scotto
Splendido come tutti i libri di Hesse
Ian Wilson
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lovely to read. But I've also heard it on Audible and loved the german reading of verse on some of the later readings. Never have I heard German sound so beautiful.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Every time I read Hesse I wonder why I still haven’t learned German.
Giulia Scifoni
Questa è stata una lettura "divertente": il destino ci ha fatti incontrare nello scaffale di booksharing al parco dei cani. E' una lettura lenta, non molto eccitante, ma ci sono alcuni preziosi momenti, descrizioni, parole. E' un libricino e, come suggerisce il titolo, inizia dalla gioventù e finisce con la vecchiaia...Il modo di scrivere di Hesse cambia a seconda della stagione della vita che descrive ed ognuna ha qualcosa da insegnare.
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarà stato sicuramente il periodo azzeccato in cui l 'ho letto che mi ha permesso di apprezzarlo così tanto. Lo rileggerei una seconda volta di seguito per assaporarlo ancora meglio.
Patrick López
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Several of the poems available in this collection are otherwise unavailable in English. The commentary is definitely intended for an audience unfamiliar with Hesse's work as a whole. Which seemed a little odd because Hesse is mainly known as a novelist to English readers, so an English reader buying his poetry is probably a dedicated fan. And I wish that they would include the original text, Hesse was a great master of form, and the literal translations give no indication of it's original struct ...more
Jana Rađa
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful collection of poems. The foreword by Andrew Harvey and the translation and commentary by Ludwig Max Fischer are excellent. It is time to revisit some of Herman Hesse's novels. A long time has passed and a lot has happened since secondary school; it will not be the same person doing the reading or the same books being read.
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have always deeply enjoyed Hesse's novels, but this is the first time I've come across his poems. They are stunningly sensitive, beautiful and evocative. I am greatly moved by these songs of the soul.
Melissa Houston
Since my days as a German literature major, Hesse has been one of my favorite writers He poignantly delves into the psychology of human nature and examines who we are in insightful and meaningful ways.
Mandy eve Cover-goodall
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jordan Davis
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
best stuff!
Kalliopi Dolios
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
some parts about family touched base
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devoured. Seasons of the soul.... I think Hesse spoke to my soul. Just beautiful.
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Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual's search for spirituality outside society.

In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only c

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