Neverending Story Uyulala’s Poem, How to Name the Empress

Posted by Tajanator on May 7, 2011 at 12:57 PM
I thought this was really neat and I wanted to remember it so I thought I would share.  This was taken from Pages 116 – 119 of The Neverending Story (the original novel) by Michael Ende. 

Atreyu had traveled far and had come at last trough a gate which in entering had wiped his mind of all his memories and his quest. Uyulala (The Voice) had told him that the Empress is sick and so on. See an excerpt below:

[Excerpt begins from page 116]:

“And the voice sang:
“The Childlike Empress is sick,

And with her Fantastica will die.

The Nothing will swallow this place,

It will perish and so will I.

We shall vanish into the Nowhere and Never,

As though we had never been.

The Empress needs a new name

To make her well again.”

Atreyu pleaded:
“Oh, tell me, Uyulala, oh, tell me who can give The Childlike Empress the name, which alone will let her live.”

The voice replied:

“Listen and listen well

to the truth I have to tell.

Though your spirit may be blind

To the sense of what I say,

Print my words upon your mind

Before you go away.

Later you may dredge them up

From the depths of memory,

Raise them to the light of day

Exactly as they flow from me.

Everything depends on whether

You remember faithfully.”

For a time he heard only a plaintive sound without words. Then suddenly the voice came from right next to him, as though someone were whispering into his ear:

“Who can give the Childlike Empress

The new name that will make her well?

Not you, not I, no elf, no djinn,

Can save us from the evil spell.

For we are figures in a book –

We do what we were invented for,

But we can fashion nothing new

And cannot change from what we are.

But there’s a realm outside Fantastica,

The Outer World is its name,

The people who live there are rich indeed

And not all the same.

Born of the Word, the children of man,

Or humans, as they’re sometimes called,

Have had the gift of giving names

Ever since our worlds began,

In every age it’s they who gave

The Childlike Empress life,

For wondrous new names have the power to save.

But now for many and many a day,

No human has visited Fantastica,

For they no longer know the way.

They have forgotten how real we are,

They don’t believe in us anymore.

Oh, if only one child of amn would come,

Oh, then at last the thing would be done.

If only one would hear our plea.

For them it is near, but for us too far,

Never can we go out to them,

For theirs is the world of reality.

But tell me, my hero, you so young,

Will you remember what I have sung?”

“Oh yes!” cried Atreyu in his bewilderment. He was determined to imprint every word on his memore, though he had forgotten what for. He merely had a feeling that it was very, very important. But the singsong voice and the effort of hearing and speaking in rhymes made him sleepy. He murmured:

“I will remember. I will remember every word.

But tell me, what shall I do with what I’ve heard?

And the voice answered:

“That is for you alone to decide.

I’ve told you what was in my heart.

So this is when our ways divide,

When you and I must part.”

[excerpt ends on page 119]


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