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Epilogue

 

I sought in love, What's not in love to find.

I hurt, was hurt, And nevermore was young.

All bitterness is gone, But Oh! --

A glimpse of joy remains,

And, in my heart, An aching, yearning void.

 

Roger Riordan. Brighton 1959

 

In 1959 I decided to study Philosophy, and enrolled as a part time student at Melbourne University. I had to have a language, and chose German 1, although I had not studied German before.

I soon learnt that Philosophy had nothing to offer me, but the main German text was Goethe's 'Urfaust' (the fragmentary original version of the play Faust, which Goethe had written as a young man in his Sturm und Drang days), and I immediately recognised Goethe as a kindred spirit.

This tale of the innocent girl whom he had ruined with his careless love was uncomfortably close to my own story (though I sincerely hope I never left anyone feeling that I had not treated them honourably), and eventually, in studying Goethe, I gained the understanding to overcome my own problems. I also read the completed version of Faust, and this poem was inspired by the dedication to Faust Part 1.

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 © Roger Riordan 2004-2017