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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

who am I?

Who Am I?


-Dietrich Bonhoeffer



Who am I? They often tell me

I stepped from my cell’s confinement

Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,

Like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me

I used to speak to my warders

Freely and friendly and clearly,

As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me

I bore the days of misfortune

Equally, smilingly, proudly,

Like on accustomed to win.



Am I then really all that which other men tell of?

Or am I only what I myself know of myself?

Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,

Struggling for breath, as though hands were

Compressing my throat,

Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,

Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,

Tossing in expectation of great events,

Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,

Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,

Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?



Who am I? This or the other?

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?

Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,

And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?

Or is something within me still like a beaten army,

Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!

*this is perfect for me right now...i am obsessed with this poem.

5 replies:

Izori said...

Great poem! I read a book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer once. Very fascinating guy.

Milli said...

This is so coincidental. I just saw this on the internet, a second before I read your post. C: I really like this peom too.

Kimberly said...

I love this poem! Beautiful.

Kendra Logan said...

I love that! Can't believe I never heard it before!

~Kendra

Shelley said...

Nice poem, thanks for sharing Bekah! :)

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