Revised text of a lecture given in honor of Friedrich G. Jünger's seventieth birthday, August 25, 1968, in Amriswil.

To speak about the poem would mean to consider from above, and thus, from the outside, what the poem truly is.

On what authority, through what sort of knowledge, could this occur? Both are lacking. That is why it would be presumptuous to wish to speak about the poem. But how could we do so otherwise?

It would be better if we let the poem tell us about its proper character, what it consists of, what it is based on.

In order to perceive this sufficiently, we must be familiar with the poem. Yet only the poet is truly familiar with the poem and the craft of making poetry. Only poetic saying can speak of the poem in a suitable way. The poet neither speaks about the poem, nor does he treat of the poem. He makes the poem's own unique character into a poem. And this can occur only when he is led in his composing by the special determinations of his very own poetry.

There is one such peculiar, perhaps even mysterious poet. His name is Hölderlin.

But he is still—so it seems—not yet so near to us that his word has


Elucidations of Hölderlin's Poetry

GA 4 p. 182