Preparatory Reflection [51–52]

a people. They are those who properly create. Concerning this time, the poet says in the poem “To Mother Earth” (IV, 156, lines 63ff.):

Und die Zeiten des Schaffenden sind
Wie Gebirg, das hochaufwoogend
Von Meer zu Meer
Hinziehet über die Erde,

And the times of the creator are
Like a mountain range billowing high
From sea to sea
That draws across the Earth,

The times of the creators—a mountain range that billows high, the solitary peaks of the mountains extending into the Aether, which is to say, into the realm of the divine. These times of the creators tower out beyond the mere sequence of hurried days in the shallowness of the everyday, and yet are not a rigid, atemporal beyond, but rather times that billow up across the Earth, their own tide and their own law. In another great poem that has an intimate belonging to “Germania,” namely, “Patmos” (three versions: IV, first 190, second, 199, third 227), the poet speaks explicitly of the “peaks of time” (lines 9ff.)[3]:

Drum, da gehäuft sind rings [um Klarheit (3)]
Die Gipfel der Zeit
Und die Liebsten nahe wohnen [ermattend (2)] auf
Getrenntesten Bergen . . .

Therefore, since round about are heaped [for clarity]
The peaks of time
And the most loved dwell near [languishing] upon
Mountains most separate . . .

“Therefore, since round about are heaped / The peaks of time. ...” These peaks are quite near to one another, and so too are the creators who must dwell on them, where each one brings to fruition his vocation in each case and from there understands, from the ground up, the others on the other peaks. And yet, in this nearness they are precisely most separate by virtue of the abysses between the mountains where each one stands. Their nearness is the abyss, whereas on the shallow and level plane, by contrast, everything can drift far apart and be dispersed; things need not be near, and yet they readily and always commingle,

Hölderlin’s Hymns “Germania” and “The Rhine”

GA 39 p. 52