Hölderlin's poetizing of the poet as demigod [203-205]

which is to be demigods, to be in the between, between gods and humans. The open realm of this between is open in the direction of the holy that essentially prevails beyond gods and humans. The unity of locality and journeying cannot be conceived in terms of "space" and "time," for the space with which we are familiar and the time to which we are accustomed are themselves offspring of a realm that first lets all openness spring forth from out of it. because it is that which clears and [is the clearing event of appropriation].1

At the beginning of these "remarks" we rejected the obvious view that the rivers are "poeticized" "symbols," "images" or "signs" that offer a symbolic image of something else. We can now recognize the reason for our rejecting this. The rivers cannot be "poeticized images" or "signs of" something because they in themselves are "the signs," "signs" that are no longer "signs" of something else, nor symbols of something else, but are themselves this supposed "something else." The poets, as poets, are these rivers, and these rivers are the poets. "Poetically" they ground the dwelling of human beings upon this earth. The rivers, that is, the Rhine and the Ister. are not symbolic images. The essence of the rivers does not depict or present the "meaningful sense" of the essence of the poet. In their essence, the rivers are the signs, as showing and making arable. These signs that show are the poets. The poets are these rivers. Being a poet essentially prevails from out of the essence of the rivers. The essence of the rivers cannot at all be identified and made visible geographically and then subsequently allocated a symbolic function. The essence of the rivers can, from the outset. be experienced only from out of the poetic dwelling of human beings; the "image" of the river that is supposed to then become a "symbol" first shows itself only in the light of the essence of poetry. (Even before the period of his river poetry. Hölderlin recognizes the river as "the brother of the heavens." Cf. "To Diotima ": "Come and see the joy around us ...," II. 39. ) This cannot be understood straightforwardly via the usual paths of representation. Nor should the opinion arise that these remarks might in themselves suffice in order to think the truth of this poetry. or even to experience the poetic word and the word itself in its own essential space. This poetry demands of us a transformation in our ways of thinking and experiencing, one that concerns being in its entirety. We must first dismiss our allegedly natural "representations"" of allegedly geographically "actual" rivers and allegedly historiographically actual poets and human beings: we must first altogether let go of the actuality of such

1. weil er das Lichtende und [lichtend-Er-eignende]. The square brackets appear in the manuscript.

Hölderlin’s Hymn “The Ister” (GA 53) by Martin Heidegger