In studying of contemporary philosophy, I ve been hearing H lderlin s name for years His poetry had tremendous impact on a number of philosophers I ve read and enjoyed, including Hegel and Schelling his seminary roommates but later on Heidegger, Benjamin, Adorno, Foucault, Blanchot and others But I d never read any of his work until recently.
I m not sure, as a relatively untrained reader of poetry, I really took from it all I could To my untrained ear, much of the poetry sounded dated and somewhat inaccessible Still, there was a numinous quality that piqued my curiosity And I felt I could see a bit of Heidegger, Hegel and Benjamin in it.
I found myself wanting a bitof an introduction, or perhaps a class or lecture to help me appreciate itfully Nevertheless, I am sure that I will come back to this book again, as I already feel a bit haunted by a few of the pieces.
So I have been really immersed in German Idealism, and lately German Romanticism Jena School in order to get a better understanding of 19 20th century radical revisions of the human and their world H lderlin is crucial here A romantic poet, friends with Schelling and Hegel, mentored by Schiller Along with Novalis and Schlegel, he is part of the triumvirate of German Romanticism I have been reading these thinkers in relation to the preceding and contemporaneous Idealism, and also the succeeding Frankfurt School Regarding H lderlin s work itself, what can I say I cried after reading his final poems not tears, but a proper cry They were deep The biography in the penguin book is great Shines light into a very obscure and underrated thinker He was a master of poetry and, even in the peak of mental illness, when he was no longer regularly writing, he could suddenly smash out a brilliant piece of prose Reading him in relation to his intellectual historical context is really important to appreciate the richness and depth of his work.
Like most Holderlin came by way of philosophy This book is a fabulous German to English collection of poems and fragments Found it remarkably current and insightful.
I m not reviewing this particular edition of Hamburger s translations of Holderlin but the Penguin edition which strangely doesn t seem to be on the Goodreads list The Penguin is probably only about half the size of this particular edition On that note let me give my thoughts on this poet and translator Is it best to read an introduction to a poet or writer and then following the work itself In regards to this poet Gerard De Nerval is another I would say no, the reason being once you read of the man s life you re going to take a highly coloured impression into the verse itself Whatever Holderlin wrestled with is very much in the verse That being said his Odes and Hymns are absolutely magnificent I found myself, when it was possible, reaching for this volume right after breakfast, sometimes before The volume is broken down into the type of poetry and I found, upon finishing a section, that rather than move on I would begin the finished section all over again I just did not want to finish the book Holderlin does fit within the general contours of romanticism but there is a finely chiseled lucidness to his poetry that, at least for me, sets him apart His verse varies from the very brief to the almost epic Rene Char adored him which should give you some idea of the vitality that dances behind the words Highly recommended, possibly to be read and contrasted with Leopardi, ideally the recent FSG edition.
Man, I love this guy His writing just vibrates so well with my mind This edition is wonderful the cover is beautiful, the poems are both in German and English and there s a lot of material to read and re read Highly recommended.
I love these two beautiful poems Neckar a major tributary of the Rhine river and Brevity The Neckar Der Nekar In your valleys my heart awakened to life, Your small waves played around me, And of all the gracious hills that know you, Wanderer, not one is foreign to me.
Often on your peaks, the air of heaven Relieved the pain of my labors, and from the valley, Like life from the cup of original joy, A silver and blue wave glittered.
The mountain streams hurried down to you With them came my heart, and you carried us along The calm and lofty Rhine, to your Cities below and pleasure giving islands.
The world still looks lovely, and my sight Is drawn away by earth s many enticements,.
When the pomegranate ripens, when in the green night An orange shines, resin drips From mastic trees and the kettledrum and cymbal Resound throughout the labyrinth dances.
Perhaps to you, my islands, my guardian god One day will take me But still I won t surrender My true feelings for this river, with its Lovely meadows and shoreline willows Brevity Die K rze Why are you so brief Don t you love Your songs as once you did When in your youthful Days of hope, you wanted your singing Never to come to an end My joy is like my song wouldn t you happily bathe In the red glow of evening Now it s gone away, The earth is cold, and the bird of night Flies down, so close you cover your eyes.
ForewordPrefaceIntroductionBiographical Note Odes and Epigrams 1797 1799 Epigrams 1797 Good Advice Descriptive Poetry To Diotima Diotima Bliss of the heavenly Muse Bonaparte Empedocles To the Fates Diotima You suffer and keep silent and, strange to them To Her Genius Plea for Forgiveness Then and Now The Course of Life High my spirit aspired Brevity Human Applause Home Content the boatman turns Good Faith Her Recovery Nature, she who s your friend The Unpardonable To the Young Poets To the Germans Do not laugh The Sanctimonious Poets Sunset To Our Great Poets Socrates and AlcibiadesEpigrams 1799 Sophocles The Angry Poet The Root of All Evil The Later Odes 1798 1803 Man Hyperion s Song of Fate In my boyhood days The Spirit of the Age Evening Fantasy In the Morning The River Main My Possessions To Princess Augusta of Homburg Go down, then, lovely sun To the Germans Never laugh at Rousseau Heidelberg Alcaic version The Neckar Home Content the boatman turns Love The Course of Life More you also desired Her Recovery Nature, look, your most loved The Farewell second version Diotima You suffer and keep silent, unknown Return to the Homeland The Ancestral Portrait The Departed Exhortation second version Nature and Art or Saturn and Jupiter Sung beneath the Alps The Poet s Vocation Voice of the People second version The Blind Singer Chiron Tears To Hope Vulcan The Poet s Courage first version Timidness The Fettered River Ganymede Hexameters and Elegies 1800 1801 The Archipelago Menon s Lament for Diotima The Traveller Stuttgart Bread and Wine Homecoming The Hymns 1799 1803 The Ages of Life Half of Life The Nook at Hardt As on a holiday At the Source of the Danube The Journey Germania The Rhine Celebration of Peace The Only One first version The Only One second version Patmos Patmos fragments of the later version Remembrance The Ister Mnemosyne third version Fragments of Other Hymns 1800 1805 German Song Home And no one knows For when the grape vine s sap On fallow foliage What is the life of men What is God To the Virgin Mary The Titans At one time I questioned the Muse But when the heavenly The Eagle You firmly built alps Whatever is Nearest third version Colombo When there s a flaming For from the abyss Narcissi In Socrates Time Greece third version Last Poems 1807 1843 If from the distance On the Birth of a Child The world s agreeable things To Zimmer The lines of life Conviction The Merry Life The Walk Spring New day descends Summer When then the blooms Summer Still you can see Autumn Nature s bright gleam Winter When past, unseen Spring When springtime from the depth Index of German first linesIndex of English first linesIndex of German titlesIndex of English titles