Miguel de Unamuno


    Biographical information

  1. At Times To Be Silent Is To Lie
  2. Cure Yourself
  3. It Is Night, In My Study
  4. Life Is Doubt
  5. The Snowfall Is So Silent
  6. The Tragic Sense Of Life

    Biographical information
      Name: Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo
      Place and date of birth: Bilbao, Vizcaya (Spain); September 29, 1864
      Place and date of death: Salamanca (Spain); December 31, 1936 (aged 72)

      At Times To Be Silent Is To Lie
        At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right.

      Cure Yourself
        Cure yourself of the affliction of caring how you appear to others. Concern yourself only with how you appear before God, concern yourself only with the idea that God may have of you.

      It Is Night, In My Study
        It is night, in my study.
        The deepest solitude; I hear the steady
        shudder in my breast
        --for it feels all alone,
        and blanched by my mind--
        and I hear my blood
        with even murmur
        fill up the silence.
        You might say the thin stream
        falls in the waterclock and fills the bottom.
        Here, in the night, all alone, this is my study;
        the books don't speak;
        my oil lamp
        bathes these pages in a light of peace,
        light of a chapel.
        The books don't speak;
        of the poets, the meditators, the learned,
        the spirits drowse;
        and it is as if around me circled
        cautious death.
        I turn at times to see if it waits,
        I search the dark,
        I try to discern among the shadows
        its thin shadow,
        I think of heart failure,
        think about my strong age; since my fortieth year
        two more have passed.
        Toward a looming temptation
        here, in the solitude, the silence turns me--
        the silence and the shadows.
        And I tell myself: "Perhaps when soon
        they come to tell me
        that supper awaits,
        they will discover a body here
        pallid and cold
        --the thing that I was, this one who waits--
        just like those books quiet and rigid,
        the blood already stopped,
        jelling in the veins,
        the chest silent
        under the gentle light of the soothing oil,
        a funeral lamp.
        I tremble to end these lines
        that they do not seem
        an unusual testament,
        but rather a mysterious message
        from the shade beyond,
        lines dictated by the anxiety
        of eternal life.
        I finished them and yet I live on.

      Life Is Doubt
        Life is doubt,
        And faith without doubt is nothing but death.

      The Snowfall Is So Silent
        The snowfall is so silent,
        so slow,
        bit by bit, with delicacy
        it settles down on the earth
        and covers over the fields.
        The silent snow comes down
        white and weightless;
        snowfall makes no noise,
        falls as forgetting falls,
        flake after flake.
        It covers the fields gently
        while frost attacks them
        with its sudden flashes of white;
        covers everything with its pure
        and silent covering;
        not one thing on the ground
        anywhere escapes it.
        And wherever it falls it stays,
        content and gay,
        for snow does not slip off
        as rain does,
        but it stays and sinks in.
        The flakes are skyflowers,
        pale lilies from the clouds,
        that wither on earth.
        They come down blossoming
        but then so quickly
        they are gone;
        they bloom only on the peak,
        above the mountains,
        and make the earth feel heavier
        when they die inside.
        Snow, delicate snow,
        that falls with such lightness
        on the head,
        on the feelings,
        come and cover over the sadness
        that lies always in my reason.

      The Tragic Sense Of Life
        The man of flesh and blood; the one who is born, suffers and dies - above all, who dies; the man who eats and drinks and plays and sleeps and thinks and wills; the man who is seen and is heard; the brother, the real brother.