Sunday, May 5, 2013
Hölderlin’s Last Line (Before the Brown Shirts)
Madness like beauty can so be wise
Like barrages festooned with tourist’s faces
And buses flagged with token gestures
Is there something inexplicable to despise?
In the mythical Rhine browned with faeces
Before the same shirts floats Orpheus’s head
In a thousand folded octaves he still cries
The hymn to their submerged father-land,
In the sun-light, vines shine from your wines,
You, who imagined Patmos to be close to hand,
An exile and curiosity in your own home land
You who entered that silence from your first lines,
The domain of Gods, not for us, should we know their signs.