How innocent Hölderlin seemed to bet when he bet with deceptive poetry on the impossible peace

The German poet Hölderlin was 15 when Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy” fell like a bomb in the gloom of those times.

It is true that Hölderlin had not yet decided to become a poet, but at least he found that it would not be long before he too wrote the equivalent of those human pages. That poem quickly found its place in the conscience of Germans.

The same Germans, whose poem once again confirmed the universality of their idea through a long line of poets and thinkers, of which Schiller and Holderlin were only episodes.

Let us return here to Hölderlin’s poem to show how it was regarded as “the first introduction to a new hymn, such as had never been written in the history of mankind”, as stated in the comment made by the German critic Hellingrath was made. in the first year of the 19th century, spoke about that poem which had been written for a long time by the poet Friedrich Hölderlin and published several parts of it that year.

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It is known that the poem, after deliberation, decided on a very significant title closely related to its subject, namely “The Peace Festival.” This title was natural because Holderlin in his poem spoke of that peace which took place in February of the year 1801, and called it “The Peace of Lunville.”

It is clear from the history of Hölderlin, as from the anthem itself, that this great romantic poet saw in that peace agreement a new beginning for human life as a whole and the beginning of a new era.

It is true that the national anthem as a whole did not cease at all with that agreement, but various parts of it did not cease to come and go between the folds of the agreement to sing about it and for those who signed it and who humanity does not promise , which bypasses small identities and nervous sensibilities, abandons history in the interests of the history maker: man himself. Therefore, it can be logical to consider the “Peace of Peace” as the first human poem that appeared in the 19th century, a few years after the French Revolution, which greatly inspired German writers and gave them hope for the future that Napoleon’s campaigns came to sabotage.

Reconciliation with Christianity

However, this anthem, which Holderlin wrote in a scattered form and did not publish in full at that time, has always remained incomplete, and its pieces have been scattered among countries and cities for reasons that are difficult to imagine, since these passages continued to be discovered successively until 1952, as he found in London what was then considered The final version of the first stanzas, which precedes the celebration of the Peace Festival itself, this festival in which the poem concludes by describing its atmosphere and living As for the atmosphere of the anthem in general, it has the issue of reconciliation between Using “Germany and Christ” as a symbolic subject, based on the Catholic idea that the choice of German emperors belonging to Protestantism over Catholicism was a departure from the Church itself.

However, this religious-sectarian dimension in the poem “Peace Festival” does not constitute its essence at all. The essence, as we indicated, is human and calls for harmony between peoples and races.

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He talks about the unity of people, and even more than that about the unity of human thought before and after Christianity, since many researchers and critics have seen that Holderlin was generally interested in making even between Christianity and the non- reconciling monotheistic religions that preceded it. , and he continued in this to consider that those religions The ancient invention of man who felt a need for a divinity to which no prophet could lead him before the rise of monotheistic religions, and from here on the latter came, embodied in Christianity according to Hölderlin, religion and the religious thinking of man returned to the protection of the one God, so man was convinced of it and believed without knowing it What is he doing with his ancient gods deeply within?

capable of nothing else

In the end, this subject may seem thorny, even outside the scope of the anthem, but it had to be clarified in order to better understand the anthem, and from the beginning we know that Hölderlin’s purpose in writing the poems for this anthem not wash only to express himself or his views as This is the case in his other poems, but especially that they are widely published and read, and therefore it was strange for him to write in introductory notes: “I ask my reader to turn this page to be read with all openness, and if he were to do so, nothing in it would become difficult to understand, but rather It would eventually become very influential. But if some people should find this language I use traditional, I confess to them that I could do nothing else, because one day it occurred to me that all kinds of singing became audible and that The same nature from which it all took place has also restored this song. The author of these pages is thinking of placing the whole collection before the eyes of his readers. what these papers involve, and not just these few papers which are only models.

It is clear in this speech that Hölderlin, who wrote something like a common song, knew during the presentation of some of the song’s papers that he would do so later, and that he wrote it in a normal language in the hope that it would reach all the people, and not that the poetry of his elite would remain as it was in his time.

In search of the Prince of Peace

The anthem in its comprehensive form, the chapters of which are certainly not completed in a final form to this day, consists of four trios, but this division, which Hölderlin never spoke about, seems to leave debates about its composition to this day. right or wrong arises. the years 1955 – 1956 under Darcy Holderlin, and the main reason for the greatest controversy was Holderlin’s description of the mysterious Prince of Eid, who has always been stirred by critics to determine his true identity. Despite the dislike of German writers and intellectuals to that “French Military Short”.

In fact, there are many thinkers who have thought that there is a “beautiful heavenly light that surrounds and illuminates the poem as a whole,” and such a light would not have been possible for a delicate poet like Hölderlin to express in the poem. place if he saw that his “prince,” that is, the prince of peace, was Napoleon, for Bonaparte might have been engulfed by anything but divine light.

However, researchers have discovered a letter Holderlin sent to his friend Karl Gauck in 1801, the year the hymn was written. You will rule the land, and the heart of Germany will eventually bleed without fuss. “

love till death

Be that as it may, this poem, which scholars of Hölderlin’s life and poetry return to interest every time the world has roared with the noise of war and weapons, as is now the case, when Europe has returned to its darkness floundering under the impact of the war waged by the Russians against the Ukrainians and the West, is helpless about it, is considered one of the The simplest and perhaps also the most profound writings of this poet who lived between 1770 and 1843, and of the most difficult moments of the birth of human thought in the time in which he lived. , and studied theology, but he never wanted to be a minister, and he was, especially during the second half of his life, constantly on the move, working as a private. tutor to the sons of the rich, especially the banker Gontadh, with whom Holderlin had an affair that lasted until her death and immortalized her under the persona of Diotima, which we see in many of his poems and other writings.

Hölderlin’s other works include “Hyburion”, “The Death of Empedocles” and the “Poems” collection.

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