From my thirteenth year on, it was clear to me that I wanted to be either a poet or nothing at all…. It was permissible and even considered an honor to be a poet; that is, to be successful and famous as a poet – unfortunately by that time one was usually dead. But to become a poet was impossible, and to want to become one was ridiculous and shameful, as I very soon found out.
–Hermann Hesse: A Pictorial Biography, Volker Michels
[Image: Hesse (far left) and family, 1889 (age 12); source: www.hermann-hesse.de]