Rejected or longed for, loneliness is one of the most talked about feelings by poets, as well as one of the situations most feared by most of the inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere, who seemed to desperately flee from being alone. It is also the greatest fear of lovers.
On this occasion we want to offer some of the phrases about solitude that have been uttered or written by some of the greatest writers, artists and thinkers of recent times, so that we can get a general idea of what has symbolized the ” loneliness” in different eras and under different perspectives.
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
The loneliness is very beautiful… when you have someone to tell. (Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer)
In a phrase that boasts a great ironic meaning, this celebrated 19th-century Spanish poet points out that loneliness is only beautiful when you are in someone’s company. Remembered for her great love poems, Becquer disdains loneliness, indicating that she can only consider herself beautiful when she does not suffer in her own flesh having no one to share life with.
Marquis of Vauvenargues
Loneliness is to the spirit that diets the body. (Marquis of Vauvenargues)
Perhaps in the same sense of rejection as Bécquer, this 18th-century French moralist compares loneliness to not feeding our body, so just as the latter loses fat and muscle mass, thinning and sometimes malnourishing himself in the absence of sufficient food, loneliness also weakens our spirit, because – according to what can be interpreted of this phrase – there is no spiritual nourishment that means sharing with others. In this way, Vauvenarques seems to point out that a solitary or lonely spirit is a famished spirit.
Pay attention: a lonely heart is not a heart. (Antonio Machado)
For his part, this Spanish poet and proseist, also distinguished by his great verses of love, also places his emphasis on the nature of a heart that lives in solitude. According to this phrase, for Machado the company and sharing with someone or others in general is an activity inherent to the human heart, so a heart that doesn´t could then be considered not a heart. Through his poetics, Machado highlights the social character of the human, signizing loneliness as something alien to him.
Why, in general, is loneliness shunned? Because very few find company with themselves. (Carlo Dossi)
However, this mid-19th-century Italian writer places the focus on the continuing rejection and desire to escape the loneliness that the human constantly lives. On the contrary, Dossi argues that a person can never be alone, because he has himself.
In this sense, Dossi also points to the fact that very few enjoy the company which means being alone with one, so you can infer from Dossi’s phrase that maybe fleeing from loneliness is also a way to escape from us, or not knowing how to be with that being we are.
Loneliness is the fate of all excellent spirits. (Arthur Schopenhauer)
In what is consocan with a whole stream of thought that states that great beings are doomed to be alone, this renowned 19th-century German philosopher affirms that loneliness is the destiny that runs that possessor of an “excellent” spirit, adjective that could be translated to others as honest, whole, lucid, intelligent.
We could also do a philosophical analysis, understanding that those who think for themselves, who use their intelligence and depart from the currents or dogmas, followed by non-thinking masses, are destined not to adapt to the society that it’s their turn to live in their time, and on the contrary they are destined to live in solitude.
The great man is the one who in the midst of the crowds maintains, with perfect sweetness, the independence of loneliness. (Emerson)
Almost in the same line of intension as Schopenhauer, this 19th-century American poet and intellectual warns that only whole and grandiose men and women are those who do not get carried away by the currents, fads or mass customs, but by the contrary to the society that lived them are able to act consonses to their own thoughts, even if they do not go hand in hand with common feeling.
However, Emerson seems to place the positive accent on individual acting, while disdaining the crowd’s action, a trait that is still striking to the sieve of a political rather than poetic analysis.
Knowing how to listen is the best remedy against loneliness. (Anonymous)
Belonging to popular knowledge, this saying advises us that the best way to avoid loneliness is to be a person in solidarity and receptive to others, because otherwise we will gradually move people away from our environment, staying in solitude.
Thus, knowing how to listen to the other at all times is the best way to build bridges between us and the rest of the world. In this way the popular language gives its recipe of how to avoid loneliness, however it is each of us who decide our own destiny.
Image source: taringa.net
August 31, 2019