Poem: Friedrich Nietzsche

Aura Christi

“Climb slowly, alone. Every step
is a step to the prison of the unknown god”
and to the freedom that lets you into
the spell of the protecting origin,
forever looming over your destiny,
forever lurking in its abyss, snatched by
a whimsical hand from the future.

Get in! Heaven has remained long
behind, wherefrom comes the command:
“Transcend!” To all eternity your
self has gone to fetch mortal morsels of the show
of your immortality, and peace to restless thought
and pervasive fragrance to a rose in the dusk.

Climb, climb, climb, crawl into yourself,
Grant kings their feast of dishonour,
to tyrants – the offerings of humility, and to lovers –
separation and betrayal. And remember the greatest gift of all:
sickness, decay, and the fall.
To those who endure – let them conquering drop out of sight,
And, stealing in on tip-toe, let there be twilight.


Aura Christi is Editor-in-Chief of the Contemporanul Journal, a Romanian monthly founded in the late 19th century. She is also Director of the Ideea Europeana and Contemporanul Publishing. She is the winner of the Romanian Academy Award (1996) and of numerous other awards from the main writers’ associations in Romania and in the Republic of Moldova for her poetry, novels, essays and translations, published in Romania and abroad, including a book-length essay on Nietzsche and collected poems – La sfera del freddo. Dall’inferno, con amore, Elegie nordiche – launched in Italy earlier this year.