Monday, May 07, 2007

Good Morning

What is my duty?
What each day requires.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe either said something like this, or he should have.

I have a busy day today.

And you?


Blogger Andrew Shields said...

A busy day, with a headache.

C. Dale Young likes to cite a great thing Donald Justice said to him once: "We always find the time to do the things we want to do."

I don't think JWvG said that, by the way. I think it was GR. :-)

3:49 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...


I took the line from a poem by Raymond Carver, who quotes Goethe to that effect. Everything is such a mess here, I can't find the Carver volume.

But I think you're right; Goethe never said exactly what I (or rather, Carver) attributed to him. The closest I can find from Goethe is in the poem "Lebensregal" (or "Precept") which, in my Penguin Classics Selected Verse, translates (in part) as: "you must ask: what does each day demand? and what each day demands, it will tell you... "

The Penguin translation is rendered in prose, and how accurate it is, I cannot say.

All the best,

Greg Rappleye

8:30 PM  
Blogger Andrew Shields said...

Does your edition have the German? I found a poem called "Lebensregel" but it does not have the lines you quote.

12:34 AM  

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