from In Lovely Blue

By Friedrich Hölderlin 1770–1843 Friedrich Holderlin

Translated By George Kalogeris Read the translator's notes

Like the stamen inside a flower   
The steeple stands in lovely blue   
And the day unfolds around its needle;   

The flock of swallows that circles the steeple   
Flies there each day through the same blue air   
That carries their cries from me to you;   

We know how high the sun is now   
As long as the roof of the steeple glows,   
The roof that’s covered with sheets of tin;   

Up there in the wind, where the wind is not   
Turning the vane of the weathercock,   
The weathercock silently crows in the wind.   

Source: Poetry (April 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2009


German Romantic poet Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin was born in Lauffen am Neckar in Württemberg. His early life was marked by loss: when the boy was two years old, his father died, and seven years later, his stepfather died. As a seminary student at Tübingen Stift, he studied Lutheran theology alongside future philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling. After leaving the church, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Weather, Animals



Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.