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Vowing at an early age "to be a poet or nothing at all," Hermann Hesse rebelled against formal education, focusing on a rigorous program of independent study that included literature, philosophy, art and history. One result of these efforts was a series of novels that became counterculture bibles that remain widely influential today. Another was a body of evocative spiritual poetry. Published for the first time in English, these vivid, probing short works reflect deeply on the challenges of life and provide a spiritual solace that transcends specific denominational hymns, prayers, and rituals.