Ralph Waldo Emerson called him "the Holy and ardent Novalis..."
One of the founding fathers of Romanticism, poet Novalis (1772-1801) was born Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg on this day at Oberwiederstedt Manorin near Eisleben, Germany. He adopted his pseudonym from "de Novali," a family name.
He once said: "We are near waking when we dream we are dreaming."
Novalis was known for his lyrics and philosophy. Throughout his brief life, he yearned passionately for perfect love. His image of a blue flower became a symbol of the ideal and his unattainable longing. "Every beloved object is the center of a paradise," he said.
His 14-year-old fiancée Sophie died of tuberculosis in 1797 and Novalis expressed his sorrow with symbolic imagery and metaphor in the beautifully poetic Hymns to the Night (1800). Seven months after its publication, young Novalis, too, died of tuberculosis.
"Novels arise out of the shortcomings of history," Novalis wrote. Looking at death as a resurrection, he became an inspiration to Hermann Hesse, Rainer Maria Rilke, and many other artists searching, with passion, for the answers to life's mysteries.
"There is but one temple in the universe and that is the body of man," he said.
More NOVALIS Quotations
Amen to life and love.