ON ORIGINALITY

Somebody says: “Of no school I am part,
Never to living master lost my heart;
Nor any more can I be said
To have learned anything from the dead.”
That statement – subject to appeal –
Means: “I’m a self-made imbecile.”

II
My build from Father I inherit,
His neat and serious ways;
Combined wit Mother’s cheerful spirit,
Her lover of telling stories.
Grea-grandfather courted the loveliest,
His ghost wwon’t leave me alone;
Great-grandmother liked fine jewels best,
This twitch I’ve also known.
I, then, no mortal chemist can
Divide the components from the whole,
What is there in the entire man
You could call original?

 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Goethe_%28Stieler_1828%29.jpg

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Germany – (1789 - 1832)

Goethe. J.W. von (1994) Selected Poems (Goethe: The Collected Works, Vol. 1). Princeton University Press, Princeton. ON ORIGINALITY. Page Number 195.

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