FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN (1770–1843), whose work has influenced such figures as Rilke, Celan, Heidegger, Adorno, and Benjamin, is considered by many to be one of the most important German lyric poets. NICK HOFF is a writer and translator who lives in San Francisco. His translations have been published in Telos, Left Curve, and other journals.
"Hölderlin, the greatest of all German poets, explored the outer limits and the deepest depths of the German language, and has been considered untranslatable. We have waited so long for an English translation that does justice to the inexplicable mystery of his early mature work; with Hoff’s beautiful versions we have one at last."—Werner Herzog, director of Rescue Dawn
“The poems come out as English poems, but—as Dryden would have put it—poems Hölderlin might have written, had he been writing in English.”—Keith Waldrop, translator of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil
From the Book:
- Gladly the boatman turns home to the river’s calm
From his harvest on faraway isles;
If only I too were homeward bound;
Yet what harvest have I but sorrow?—
- O blessèd riverbanks that raised me,
Can you ease the sorrows of love? Ah, when I come
To you, woods of my youth, will you
Grant me peace once again?