Piet Hein’s Grooks


image022
ASTRO-GYMNASTICS

Go on a starlit night,
stand on your head,
leave your feet dangling
outwards into space,
and let the starry
firmament you tread
be, for the moment,
your elected base.

Feel Earth’s colossal weight
of ice and granite,
of molten magma,
water, iron, and lead;
and briefly hold
this strangely solid planet
balanced upon
your strangely solid head.

 

THE ROAD TO WISDOM
grook-t_t_t
The road to wisdom?

 — Well, it’s plain
and simple to express:
Err
and err
and err again
but less
and less
and less.

 

 

 

image008OUT OF TIME
(A holiday thought)

My old clock used to tell the time
and subdivide diurnity;
but now it’s lost both hands and chime
and only tells eternity.

 

 

 

 

EXPERTSout_of_time

Experts have
their expert fun
ex cathedra
telling one
just how nothing
can be done.

 

 

 

 

grook-i_would_likeARS BREVIS

There is
one art,
no more,
no less:
to do
all things
with art-
lessness.

 

 

 

 

ON PROBLEMSgrook-a_maxim_for_vikings

Our choicest plans
have fallen through,
our airiest castles
tumbled over,
because of lines
we neatly drew
and later neatly
stumbled over.

 

 

THE PARADOX OF LIFE

A bit beyond perception’s reach
I sometimes believe I see
that Life is two locked boxes, each
containing the other’s key.


T. T. T.

Put up in a place
where it’s easy to see
the cryptic admonishment
T. T. T.

When you feel how depressingly
slowly you climb,
it’s well to remember that
Things Take Time!

ATOMYRIADES

Nature, it seems, is the popular name
for milliards and milliards and milliards
of particles playing their infinite game
of billiards and billiards and billiards.

PAST PLUPERFECT

The past, — well, it’s just like
our Great-Aunt Laura,
who cannot or will not perceive
that though she is welcome,
and though we adore her,
yet now it is time to leave.

 

on_problemsMEETING THE EYE

You’ll probably find
that it suits your book
to be a bit cleverer
than you look.
Observe that the easiest
method by far
is to look a bit stupider
than you are.

 

 

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