from real life, a very sad reflection
My friend, I’m sorry that I had to visit you,
to see you in your sorry state,
survived, but hardly more,
and suddenly grown old,
an ageing man who doesn’t care much any more
but rather would go hiding
than receive an old time friend and visitor,
as if you were ashamed of your new face,
of showing up at all to those who knew you
as a youth and vital intellectual giant,
now turned into just a tired shadow
hiding in the memories of how it was,
the glorious opposite of what it is today.
I beg your pardon for my visit
and shall not visit you again
until you have turned back to life,
returned to us as the great friend you were
who doesn’t have to hide in bed to visitors.
My pathetic visit must lead to the sad reflection,
that it would be better to depart directly, suddenly from life
than to be operated on beyond all recognition
just to have a shadowy existence of unworthiness
prolonged indefinitely to increase the pains.