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Odes and Elegies
Friedrich Hölderlin; Nick Hoff, trans.



Wesleyan Poetry Series

Wesleyan
2008 • 280 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Literary Criticism - German


$29.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6890-8


Bilingual German-English ed.

Powerful new translations of this seminal figure in modern poetry

Friedrich Hölderlin emerged in the early 20th century as one of the key figures of modern European literature. This comprehensive selection of over 80 of his odes, hexameters, and elegies is taken from the important early period of his mature work—a time in which we encounter the poet open to nature and love with a rare vulnerability. The translations in Odes and Elegies, including poems never before available in English, render forcefully and directly the deep longing and heartbreak of Hölderlin’s poetic world; their open, pathos-filled rhythm and disarming clarity present Hölderlin’s powerful work as distinctive English poems. A bilingual edition, this book also includes informative annotations and translations of drafts and revisions that give deep insight into Hölderlin’s craft and process, shining new light on the unique poetic voice that marks Hölderlin’s achievement and continuing influence on poetry and philosophy today.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"Hölderlin, the greatest of all German poets, explored the outer limits and the deepest depths of the German language, and has been considered untranslatable. We have waited so long for an English translation that does justice to the inexplicable mystery of his early mature work; with Hoff’s beautiful versions we have one at last."—Werner Herzog, director of Rescue Dawn

“The poems come out as English poems, but—as Dryden would have put it—poems Hölderlin might have written, had he been writing in English.”—Keith Waldrop, translator of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil

From the Book:

Gladly the boatman turns home to the river’s calm
From his harvest on faraway isles;
If only I too were homeward bound;
Yet what harvest have I but sorrow?—

O blessèd riverbanks that raised me,
Can you ease the sorrows of love? Ah, when I come
To you, woods of my youth, will you
Grant me peace once again?
—From “Home”



FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN (1770–1843), whose work has influenced such figures as Rilke, Celan, Heidegger, Adorno, and Benjamin, is considered by many to be one of the most important German lyric poets. NICK HOFF is a writer and translator who lives in San Francisco. His translations have been published in Telos, Left Curve, and other journals.



This project is supported in part by an award from
National Endowment for the Arts


Sun, 19 Mar 2017 19:06:40 -0500