Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin


Looking Out

The open day is bright with pictures for everyone,
When green fields appear on the distant plain,
Before the light of evening yields to twilight,
And reflections of light alleviate the noise of the day.
The inner being of the world often appears clouded
And hidden, and people’s minds are full of doubts
And irritation, but splendid nature cheers up their days,
And doubt’s dark questions stay distant.



24 March, 1671



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Towards the end of his life Hölderlin often signed his poems with the fictitious name Scardanelli and added false dates and phrases of exaggerated courtesy, demonstrating perhaps the awareness of his own inability to participate in the affairs of the world, but at the same time very carefully drawing attention to his presence in it.

As in Out for a Walk, this poem shows Nature as a series of pictures which can relieve mental doubts and annoyances.



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