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THE SONG OF BARENESS

Our featured poet recommended this poem she found in EcstaticConfessions, edited by Martin Buber, attributed to a German mysticnamed Tauler from the sixteenth century. We dare to reprint it not onlybecause we like it, but because the original copyright, issued byGutenberg, has since expired.

I will sing of bareness a new song,
for true purity is without thought.
Thoughts may not be there,
so I have lost the Mine:
I am decreated.
He who is unminded has no cares.
My unevenness no longer causes me to err:
I am as gladly poor as rich.
I want nothing to do with images,
I must stand free of myself:
I am decreated.
He who is unminded has no cares.

Would you know how I escaped the images?
I perceived the right unity in myself.
That is right unity
when neither weal nor woe displaced me:
I am decreated.
He who is unminded has no cares.

Would you know how I escaped the mind?
When I perceived neither this nor that in myself,
save bare divinity unfounded.
then I could not longer keep silent, I had to tell it:
I am decreated.
He who is unminded has no cares.

Since I am thus lost in the abyss
I no longer wish to speak, I am mute.
The Godhead clear has swallowed me into itself.
I am displaced.
Therefore the darkness delighted me greatly.

Since I have thus come through to the origin,
I may no longer age, but grow young.
So all my powers have disappeared
and have died.
He who is unminded has no cares.

Then whosoever has disappeared
and has found a darkness
is so rich without sorrow.
Thus the dear fire
has consumed me,
and I have died.
He is thus unminded has no cares.

      — Martin Buber