Friedrich Hölderlin - Singer of Nature and example of Nordic poetry

Friedrich Hölderlin - Singer of Nature and example of Nordic poetry In the bosom of Mother Nature You and I are immortal Ageless crops...

Friedrich Hölderlin - Singer of Nature and example of Nordic poetry

In the bosom of Mother Nature
You and I are immortal
Ageless crops
Queens of existence.
Rose, let the autumn whirlwind
Cut our petals –
Again will bloom
The eternal sprouts of life !
He was born on March 20, 1770 in a cosy German town of Laufen, located on the picturesque banks of the Neckar river. His name was Johan Christian Friedrich Hölderlin and he came from a an old burgher family.
His years of studies in Tübingen coincided with the French Revolution of 1789-1794 which Hölderlin greeted with Schelling and Hegel who studied in the same university. On the anniversary of the capture of the Bastille, they planted the famous « Freedom tree ». Hölderlin took part in this action and in 1792 created a soulful « Hymn to freedom », published in the « Almanac of muses » and in the « Journal of poetry ». Then it became clear that this man is definitely the pride of Germany – « country of poets ».
Like an awaken eagle,
Darting wings to the stars,
The joy, a tight feeling in my chest,
Jubilantly ignited in me a song.
I am baffled with a new life now,
A new unexplored destiny.
Above the dream to ascend, above the pride,
I see Freedom in front of me.
While expressionism was thriving in Germany, Hölderlin was exalted to the rank of the country's best poets. He was proclaimed as a sage and a prophet, he remains one of the best ten literary geniuses of the nation. The great poet was immersed into the Revolutionand wrote to his sister so that « prays for the French », and he devoted his poem « Bonapparte » to Napoleon.
Poets – those sacred vessels,
Who are the wine of life –
Spirit of Heroes – keep since days of old.
But the young man’s spirit is heady –
How will accept it the vessel, without tear to pieces ?
Do not touch him, poet : he is the spirit of Nature.
While working on him the boy will become the master.
He can not live, kept in the verse,
Unperished, he lives in the World.
Later in 1940, Adolf Hitler visited Napoleon's grave, in his Parisian pilgrimage. In 1940, Pierre Drieu la Rochelle wrote « Fascism is a grand saving Revolution » in his novel « Gilles » and this is why, feeling the salvation in revolution and experiencieng Hitler's apparition in the world, Hölderlin wrote :
To the oak an ivy clung, aiming for the top,
The shoots wrapped around the trunk.
So the people in one burst
After the hero flew up.
The spirit will not bend over the fate,
With an immortal freedom breathing,
Will the fed by the muses soul
Touch the divinity.
He admired not only France in his work. He drew attention to the tragic fate of the Italian philosophe Lucilio Vanini. Young contemporary of Giordano Bruno, Vanini didn't believe in Christ and in 1616 created a treatise « about the amazing secrets of Nature, the queen and the goddess of the mortal ». « Good » christians subjected him to tortures, cut his tongue, hung him and burned his body. Hölderlin's lines sound like an epitaph to Vanini the brave freethinker:
You were cursed like an apostate,
They wanted to crush your spirit with anathema,
Then you, holy man,
Were betrayed by flames… Oh, how bitter,
That you didn’t come back from the skies
With a punishing fire and didn’t burn down
Your executioners, and didn’t shout to the wind :
« Scatter their black ashes in space ! »
Hölderlin – colossally gifted, internally musical man, with lyricism, developed in metaphysics and perceiving reality as a space melody chord- painfully experienced the fragmentation of the surrounding social life. He dreamed about something different, about a better world, the exmaple of which he found in the idealized Hellas. A deep harmony between nature and man reigned there. Art borned by itself, it was a kind of spontaneaous expression of the human contact with nature. Mythology was born from this creative act and inspired Hölderlin's art and religion. The development of civilization forced men to fall away from this integrity. This disharmony tortured the human soul. He believed that because of the differences between the man and nature he could grow a new ideal. The ideal is a new purpose for mankind and the point is to implement it to regain the former lost unity.
Not without reason Charles Maurras says later that « The pantheon is required to develop our life » (Alain de Benoit « How to be a heathen » 2004, p.14) Not without reason Leni Riefenstahl caroled the godlike Hellas in her masterpiece movie « Olympia » in 1936. In his autobiographical novel « Hyperion or the Hermit of Greece », Hölderlin will make say to one of the characters (Alabanda) wonderful words : « Sons of the Sun foster their deeds. They live with victory, draw courage in their own soul and the joy in their power ».
"Non coerceri maximo, contineri minimo, divinum est" (Not knowing the measure of great things, eventhough your earth's limit is small, it is devine) became an epigraph to the novel. That's important to notice that even the Führer replied to Leon Degrelle's quetion « Who are you, my Führer ? » by « I am hellenist ». It is not a coincidence that the life-affirming antic art was taken as a model in the Third Reich, and opposed the degenerative art of Picasso and Kokoshka. Lines from Hölderlin's poem « Rhein » became an epigraph to a lecture by professor Hans Gunther « The people and the government in their relation to selection and heredity », in Jena university in 1933. Alfred Rosenberg also admired Hölderlin's work in his treatise « The Myth of the XX century ».
In the understanding of application functions of the state, Hitler and Rosenberg were influenced by Hölderlin. He made his character Hyperion say: « The government is only the rigid shell enveloping the core of life. It is a wall of stone enclosing the garden of humanity, where grow flowers and fruits. But why preotecting a garden where the soil has dried ? ». Even the war was inspired by his words : « Slavery kills, but in a fair war the soul revives. Gold is thrown into the fire because of its sunlike color. Only when the man breaks the shackles, the youth returns to him ! There is only one way of salvation : the gather strength and crush the trumpery, this century that destroys everything naturally beautiful in the bud ! ». Later, these lines will inspire the priestess of esoteric Hitlerism – Savitri Devi.
Pantheism penetrated all Hölderlin’s work : « We called the soil a flower of the sky, and the sky – an endless garden of life. We said that the brave sunlight sweetens the earth as roses enjoy the golden pollen ; this wonderful living creature, and when its heart sprouts a fierce fire, and streams clear water ; it is always cheerful. And when it quenches its thirst with dew drops, and when it drinks from thunder clouds enjoying the gift of the sky ; it is the half of the god sun, parted from him, and first was possibly connected even closer, but the powerful fate divided them so that it grows up in joy and suffering, to reach the highest beauty » (Hyperion or the Hermit in Greece). « Evgueniy Onegin » darkles ! From Walterhausen (near Meiningen) Hölderlin writes to philosopher Hegel : « The great Nature humanizes and strengthens us against our will ». In a letter to his brother Karl Hölderlin confesses : « I love mankind in centuries to come. Because in it consists my cherished aspirations, my faith, from which I draw strength and courage, that our grand-children will be better than us, that the warmed by Freedom’s fire virtue will give better young crops than in the polar climate of despotism. We live in a time where everything is oriented towards a better future. »
Hölderlin died June 7, 1843 in Tübingen, and was buried with a laurel on his head. The sun saw off its singer with golden rays of glory.
You, dead people, will stay with dead people,
Among the graves cursing the destiny !
But here fully blooms and argues with you
Nature itself in my heart !

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