4 – Of Solitude

(Found Poem in Michel de Montainge’s “Of Solitude” translated by George B. Ives)

There are some temperaments 
better adapted than others 
to these precepts of withdrawal 
from the world.

It seems to me that it is wise,
when one talks of withdrawing
from the world, to look
away from it.

It should no longer be your 
concern to make the world 
speak of you, but how you should 
speak to yourself.

Withdraw into yourself, but first
prepare to receive yourself.

3 – Of the Soul

(Found Poem in Michel de Montainge’s “Of Solitude” translated by George B. Ives)

Our sickness is of the soul;
now the soul can not escape from itself.

We have a soul that can be turned to itself;
it can be its own company;
it has the means of attack and of defence,
of giving and of receiving.

Let us not fear the becoming dull
in this solitude from wearisome inactivity;
in lonely places be to yourself a multitude.

The greatest thing in the world
is to know how to belong to oneself.