Three Poems of His Madness
— after Hølderlin
1. A lively blue blossoms on the metal roof of the steeple. Swallows cry and hover above it and a roaring blue surrounds it. The sun gets hot over it, farmer of blue, and afterwards a silent wind opens the mouth of the weathercock. When anyone under the clock comes down the steps tripping, it is a still-life because when the figure detaches itself from the background, the truly heroic build of man is made known.
The window under the clock is a beautiful gate, namely a tone of night, of nature a wind or a gate just as these appear like trees of a wood. Right here after so much beauty in this diversity an earnest thought is stated. So the image is simple, so holy and simple it seems a sin to describe it. Heaven above the inner guts of the skin of the animal, the rich laden with ease have these, goodness and pleasure, while a man starves among the other men, starves while the open mouth of life shows itself to man and says, So will I let this be? Yes. So lies happiness in our hearts like rain remains, not missed unluckily, so with him is God.
Is the unknown God? Is the Overlord Himself in the sky? This is what I believe. Man maybe is. The whole of everything is pure poetry when men love the earth. But the reign of night shatters the night with the stars, which I know so well, as does every man, holy builders to God.
2. Is the gift of the earth bad? It gives cows. Mainly it hems in the great giving of the world and shapes. Just as pretty is the flower, blue under the sun, and we often find in this life of ours prettier eyes more beautiful than the night. Oh, I wish I was well! For the blood of body and heart, a glance in the night may be seen, despite God. The oversoul which I claim must rain blood, sounds which reach up to a mighty eagle with gobs of blood and song and praise fit for an old bird. This is the wise-in-heart, the whole form.
You pretty stream, shiny to the end, why do you roll so clearly, augury of God, down the Milky Way? I know it well, which causes tears to swell in my eyes. A helpful life I see in the form which blossoms into shapes where I am not unwilling to release a testament to the Church. The light over the shine with the grammar of men, namely what I have in the heart, most of which is coming here? I wish. Then I’d have an inkling of an angel, a blue on fire, a kind south wind which rains from on high. Grossly wanting, human nature doesn’t know this purity. The turgid praise above the globe wears the earnest spirit which swishes dry and sullen within the garden. Must a pretty young girl hope to crown her head with myrtle blossoms, a veil which in fact is neither nature or feeling?
Myrtles are from Greece.
3. When lately in the mirror I see I, a man, and see my daring build very enigmatic, a mystery in time — I like the man. An old hat image of man hitches light to the world. King David is an angel whose heart is veiled. This life, these men, they shine imperishable, unspeakable, unstruckable.
When will the end of the song in the solitude of starlight come again? What is after me, though I die in jest? Why does the stream ready in the end without delay expand into Asia, and is this why Asia expands? Naturally this life is the same for everyone. Naturally is why. Did Jesus’ hat glitter? Well, does the discovery of a higher friendship have nothing in life which is tragic? Namely, what did Oedipus fight with in life? Or Heracles? And understand in neither this life, this which we see, or there in another life?
What is also in life when summerflecks bedeck a man, with hand flecking a gaze all over everything? Here comes the beautiful sun, namely the height of all. The young flirt is bathed in roses and strolls in beams of light. Life shines so, even Oedipus suffers and Heracles dies, and with his armor man complains as though he were feeble. The sun leaves us, arms trembling. Life is dead and Death is alive.