Trees: An Anthology of Writings and Paintings

Trees: An Anthology of Writings and Paintings

Trees: An Anthology of Writings and Paintings

Trees: An Anthology of Writings and Paintings


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*Winner of the American Translators Association Frederick Ungar Award*

An elegant collection of Hermann Hesse’s essays, poems, and passages on the subject of trees and nature, accompanied by thirty-one of his watercolor illustrations.

Hermann Hesse understood trees to be symbols of transcendence and rebirth, of instinctive growth present in all natural life. This elegant collection of his essays, poems, and passages on trees, accompanied by thirty-one of his watercolor illustrations, reveals his inspired thoughts on nature, spirituality, and self-knowledge. Together, his writings and paintings mirror the seasons and landscapes as he experienced them, and help remind us that trees’ annual rings are representations of our own days’ struggle, happiness, and purpose.

In the author’s words: “They struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws . . . Whoever has learned to listen to trees no longer wants to be one. He wants to be nothing except who he is.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781737832713
Publisher: Kales Press
Publication date: 05/03/2022
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 1,038,112
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

HERMANN HESSE was born in 1877 in Calw, Germany. He grew to become a celebrated author and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. As the son of missionaries, he developed a fascination with self-discovery and spiritual explorations, an interest also likely due in part to his lifelong struggle with depression, which led him to study Sigmund Freud and, later, to undergo psychoanalysis with Carl Jung. In 1912 he moved to Switzerland, where he wrote his best-known books, including the classic Siddhartha; composed poetry; and painted landscapes. He passed away in 1962 in Montagnola, Switzerland. Hesse is one of the most widely translated authors of the twentieth century; his work continues to have influence worldwide.

Damion Searls is a prize-winning translator of fifty books from German, French, Norwegian, and Dutch. Liveright published his translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet in 2020.

VOLKER MICHELS edited the first complete edition of Hermann. Hesse’s writings, consisting of approximately fifteen thousand pages in twenty volumes. He is the world’s foremost authority on Hesse’s work and also manages the Nobel laureate’s literary and artistic estate.

Table of Contents


Trees 1
My Heart Greets You* 5
Good Friday 7
The Old Copper Beech* 9
Movement and Stillness in Harmony* 13
Flowering Branch 17
The Miracle of Rebirth* 19
Spring Night 23
Chestnut Trees 25
Dream 33
The Peach Tree 35
In Full Flower 39
Hermits and Warriors* 41
Shackled Power and Passion* 43
The Birch 45
May in the Chestnut Forest 46
The Black Forest 51
“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer 53
Uprooted* 56
Page from a Diary 58
Linden Blossoms 61
Lament for an Old Tree 67
Vagrant Hostel 76
Opposites 79
Night with Mountain Wind 85
The Little Path 88
Summer Afternoon at an
Old Country House 93
Elegy in September 94
At Bremgarten Castle 95
Natural Forms* 97
Tree in Autumn 99
Pruned Oak 101
A Stray Son of the South* 102
From “Description of a Landscape” 103
Withered Leaf 115
Between the Hourglass
and the Withered Leaf* 117
In the Fog 118
A Broken Branch Creaks 119
Wanderer in Late Autumn 120

Afterword by
Volker Michels 123
Sources 131

List of Plates

* Titles followed by an asterisk were supplied by the German editor, 
Volker Michels, for untitled poems or excerpts from longer works.

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