A Dialogue between Wanderer and Shadow

by Peter Saint-Andre

My shadow! Aren't you of my past,
That old, unreasoned dark of mine,
My weaknesses, my vanity?

I disagree: a shadow's cast
Whenever suns of knowledge shine.
I'm insight, not insanity.

If you bring light, then why so dark?
I need the lamp of knowledge less
Than positive success in action.

The joy of knowledge has its arc:
It doesn't yield full happiness,
And yet it does bring satisfaction.

Perhaps that's all I can expect;
And honesty demands no less
Than scrupulous integrity.

Plus justice, too, to not reject
But feel the freedom to confess
Your all too human quality.

This freedom makes a constant stranger:
I'm always moving past opinion,
The home of warm community.

It's true your path is full of danger.
And yet you have one true companion,
Who grants you some immunity.

For that I'm grateful, too, my friend.
To keep you close I seek the light
Of certainty, however weak.

I know I'm cold, but in the end
A nomad only has the right
To find as much as he can seek.

(cf. Human, All Too Human, Volume II, Part II, introduction)

Peter Saint-Andre > Writings > Nietzsche