Poem – Fernweh

Do you ever feel grounded?

Not in a ‘safe, solid, I know where I am’ sort of way, but a ‘restless, wings clipped, I should be somewhere else’ sort of way… I’ve found a good word to describe that feeling – ‘fernweh’. It’s a German word that translates to ‘wanderlust’ and it encompasses that emotion very nicely. I stumbled upon that word a few months ago now and was immediately inspired to write the poem I’m about to share with you.

It feels appropriate to share it with you today, as I prepare to leave home and head back to the west coast of the States in a few short days. Due to circumstances out of my control, I’m leaving later than originally planned, so the emotion of this poem feels especially relevant right now – that deep desire to go, the longing to travel, the anticipation of wandering and movement yet again.

In short, tonight I feel that thrill of ‘fernweh’ – and my hope is that this poem will spark a gleam of it in you too…


You call it “fernweh”

over the remnants of Belgian waffles.

My forehead crinkles in question.

“Distance ache,” you explain,

“in English, wanderlust.

A longing to just go.”

The word is soft in my mouth

like the pine-tree chai we sip in your living room,

steam drifting out the open window.

I watch it melt into the September sky and feel my heart

beat restless, weary of the same.

I see my fernweh mirrored in your eyes

and fingers tracing tracks on the dusty coffee table.

I want to say more,

tell you how right you are.

Instead, I nod

and ask

“How soon can you buy a plane ticket?”


Are you familiar with the term ‘fernweh’? Have you felt that emotion recently? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Author: Hannah

Jesus follower. writer. bibliophile. dreamer.

One thought on “Poem – Fernweh”

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