Heimkunft/An die Verwandten

Rememberance of the Poet

Heidegger delivered this lecture on two occasions in 1943. It is a meditation on the ownmost origin of poetry, and describes the poet as a wanderer returning home. The poet returns to the homeland, that is, the nearness to the origin. Poetizing is a process in which being in the guise of the holy addresses the poet who responds by putting this invocation into words. The address is the mystery of the self-revealing concealing of the holy. When the poet abides near the source from which the holy springs, he guards and preserves it as a mystery.

The response of the poet is a commemoration where being appears through what is as having been and is made present when the poet accedes to the claim of being. In the poems that Heidegger interprets, the attunement of the poet is joy. Joy in poetizing consists in knowing that in every joyous entity that already is encountered, the joyous hails insofar as it holds itself in reserve. The poet needs the help of kinsmen, that is, the thinkers, to guard the full import of language and help the people to comprehend it. The homecoming of the poet is the future of the historical destiny of the German people.