176  ❦ ELUCIDATIONS OF HÖLDERLIN'S POETRY

PREFACE TO THE LECTURE IN STUTTGART


In the meantime, the question has been raised as to whether Hölderlin belongs to the philologists or to the philosophers. He belongs neither to one nor to the other, nor even to both. This either-or, however it may be resolved, misses the crucial point. In what way? Inasmuch as the question which needs to be clarified is not to whom among us Hölderlin belongs; rather, the sole question is whether we in the present age are capable of belonging to Hölderlin's poem.

Our reflection is concerned solely with Hölderlins poem. It is an attempt to transform our accustomed way of representing things into an unaccustomed, because simple, thinking experience. (The transformation into the thinking experience of the center of the infinite relation—out of the collected framework [Ge-stell] as the self-dissimulating event [Ereignis] of the fourfold.)

There is no one true way into the greatness of Hölderlin's poem. Each of the various ways is, as a mortal one—an errant way.

If what Paul Valery says of the poem is true: "The poem^this prolonged lingering between sound and sense," then the listening to the poem, and even the thinking which prepares such listening, lingers even longer than the poem itself. After all, such lingering has its own lofty resoluteness; it is no mere vacillation.


PREFACE TO THE LECTURE IN FREIBURG I. BR.


What we shall attempt to say in the following lecture calls for some prefatory remarks. The title of the lecture reads: "Hölderlin's Earth and Heaven." For this reason you have before you a text whose title is "Greece."

So it could be a matter of interpreting the draft of the poem with the purpose of explaining how Hölderlin represents earth and heaven. This would be a justifiable project. It would, perhaps, result in a contribution to Hölderlin research.

In comparison, however, the following lecture has something different