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Rilke Rereading Hölderlin

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Footnotes to the tower. For “He spends the summer
There, in a state of violent agitation,”
Read: “It’s there, in his agitation’s most violent
State that Hölderlin suspends the summer” —
Like a yellow pear above the untroubled water.

For the lost, disheveled decades of derangement,
Translate I was struck by Apollo as you
Must change your life. For sonnets that sing their own
Spontaneous, Orphic necessity to praise,
Think naked as a lightning rod he waited.

For necessity insert Anangke. But for
Anangke, “Lord, just one more summer, please.”
For summer, the lyre. Hölderlin in his tower.
Until autumn, when the leaves start falling. Whoever
Has nowhere to go will never get home now.

Source: Poetry (September 2013)

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

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Rilke Rereading Hölderlin

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