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     Literature Goethe: Faust V. Some verses

Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  V. Some verses

29) ... Grau teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie ...

  Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie,
Und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.
Dear friend, all theory is grey,
And green the golden tree of life.

It is difficult to tell which verse of Faust is the most famous one, but it seems that all Germans know this one, even though only few will know that it is of Faust. It can be asked, how a verse can become famous? The answer is simple. A verse becomes famous, when it is similar to a lot of situations of the reality and expresses something in a beautiful way and few words, what many people feel. Often one can have the impression that a theory cannot explain the reality and that trying it, is worth much more than just speculating.