When we appropriate Hölderlin's word specifically for the realm of thought, must of course be careful not to equate unthinkingly Hölderlin's poetic statement with what we are starting out to think about and call "most thought-provoking." What is stated poetically, and what is stated in thought, are never identical; but there are times when they are the same—those times when the gulf separating poesy and thinking is a clean and decisive cleft. This can occur when poesy is lofty? and thinking profound. Hölderlin understood the matter well, as gather from the two stanzas of the poem entitled

Socrates and Alcibiades

“Why, holy Socrates, do you always adore

This young man? Is there nothing greater than he?

Why do you look on him

Lovingly, as on a god?”

(The second stanza gives the answer:)

“Who has most deeply thought, loves what is most alive,

Who has looked at the world, understands youth at its height,

And wise men in the end

Often incline to beauty.”

We are concerned here with the line Who has most deeply thought, loves what is most alive." It is all too easy in this line to overlook the truly telling and thus sustaining words, the verbs. To notice the verb, we now stress the line in a different way that will sound unfamiliar to the common hearer:

“Who has most deeply thought, loves what is most alive.”

Standing in the closest vicinity, the two verbs "thought" and "loves" form the center of the line. Inclination reposes