I Am Not I

by Juan Ramon Jimenez

English version by Robert Bly
Original Language Spanish

     I am not I.
               I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
the one who remains silent while I talk,
the one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
the one who takes a walk when I am indoors,
the one who will remain standing when I die.

-- from The Winged Energy of Delight, Translated by Robert Bly

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/ Photo by Marco Raaphorst /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Now there is no mistaking this as a mystic's poem...

I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,


How can "I" not be "I"? And who is this invisible companion whom I really am? Can there be two of me?

Well -- yes. And no. It is not really that there are two selves, but there is a real self, and an illusory self. The illusory self is the self we present to the world, our social self, our seeming self. It is the mask we wear. But we forget that there is a face hidden behind that mask, our real self...

the one who will remain standing when I die.

...our eternal self.

Have a beautiful weekend!



Recommended Books: Juan Ramon Jimenez

The Winged Energy of Delight News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness The Soul is Here for its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures Invisible Reality Time and Space: A Poetic Autobiography
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I Am Not I