Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843)

Soft man in the maze of history
bowed onto himself
acquiring insight
into potentially arid lands;
fearless clincher
of woods and rivers.

He has worries
like the man next door:
cities, mothers, women to hail.
To classify and store them
He knows no good way.

Ascribes his music
to an obscure Scardanelli,
his purest tone.
He is the foreplay
of each day of worthy deeds …
Perhaps as he burned away,
he preserved some hope mysticism
I can not yet grasp.

Leipzig-Berlin, November 10, 2005