Ode To Joy

Friedrich Schiller, German poet & writer (1759-1805)
Friedrich Schiller, German poet & writer (1759-1805)

This poem, (despite its age and that it was written in a foreign language,) is one of my favorite bits of lyric writing. I wish I could “live” what it recommends (I can’t…) but I “feel” the truth in most of it. A small, somewhat altered part of it appears in the final “choral” movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. That symphony is also my favorite, and what got me interested in the poem.

When ever I hear that 4th movement or read this poem, it reminds me of my old, blind, now deceased dog, Buddy — who, despite everything, was the most joyful creature. At least he gave me joy…

Below is the entire text of the poem, in both the original German, and in an English translation. I have bolded the one verse that really jumps out at me whenever I read it (the one about Joy driving the wheels of “the Cosmos” (that’s how I read it, anyway 😉 ). Ironically that verse is not in Beethoven’s ninth (though a slightly altered part of the chorus of that verse does appear). I also really like the verse and chorus which precedes my favorite verse, (the one that starts “All creatures drink Joy”) Continue reading Ode To Joy