BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER

BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER

24.3.13

SONG FOR FRIEDRICH HOLDERLIN




















‘The lines of life are various;
they diverge and cease like footpaths
and the mountain’s utmost ends.’

(Extract from a Holderlin poem addressed to Zimmer the carpenter, in whose Tuebingen house Holderlin lived for the last thirty six years of his life).

‘When from the depths spring enters into life,
men marvel and new words aspire out of their intelligence;
joy returns and festively poetry and songs arise.’

(Written on Holderlin’s last birthday, 20th March 1843).


Suddenly, peacefully,
you’re slipping afloat,
your drifting past
in a poetry boat.

Scaliger Rosa,
Scaliger Rosa.
Buonarotti,
Buonarotti.
Scardinelli,
Scardinelli,
joy returns
and songs arise.

Crafted by Zimmer,
a sculptor of Woods,
your coffin is filled
with magical words.

Scaliger Rosa,
Scaliger Rosa.
Buonarotti,
Buonarotti.
Scardinelli,
Scardinelli,
joy returns
and songs arise.




                                                                               Keith Armstrong,
                                                                               Tuebingen.



Note: The chorus is based on pseudonyms used by Holderlin.






ROLL ON HOLDERLIN  (am Neckar)

(for Jochen)


‘To the Very Honourable Poet Mr. Keith Armstrong,

I wish you good luck for all the seasons in your life and always a high inspiration for your poems.

(Jochen from the Holderlin Tower).’



Holderlin
holds his own,
holds his own
in this sex-crazed country.

Holderlin
rolls his own,
rolls his own
in this burnt-out company.

Holderlin
rolling on,
holding on
in this fearful Germany.

The motor stalls,
the government falls - 
it’s Holderlin
knocking down walls:

Holderlin
knocking down walls.




                                                                           Keith Armstrong,
                                                                           Tuebingen.


I talked with my students about your reading and they enjoyed it very much. It was a very special occasion for them. They think that you absolutely have to come again next year. And I think so too.
 
We´ll keep in touch,
best wishes
 
Kristina

the jingling geordie

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whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur