Autumn by Hölderlin

Autumn is my favorite season. Even though my profession allows me to have my summers free, I feel the most at peace and at ease during the autumn. I am sharing a lovely, simple poem from Hölderlin (translated by Michael Hamburger) that, for me, captures the contemplative spirit of the season:


The legends that depart from land and sea,
Of spirit that once was here and will return,
These turn to men, and there is much we learn
From time that, self-devoured, moves speedily.

No image of the past is quite mislaid
By Nature; summer’s dog-days fade,
But back to earth at once will autumn fly;
The ghost of showers gathers in the sky.

In a short time how much has passed away!
The countryman observed behind his plough
Sees how the year meets a glad ending now;
Such images complete the human day.

The sphere of earth adorned with rocks revolves
Not like a cloud, which after dusk dissolves;
Within a gold day the earth appears,
And to perfection no complaint adheres.


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5 responses to “Autumn by Hölderlin

  1. Thank you for sharing this Melissa. I always loved fall with its return to routine and the setting of new goals and plans. But the past few years have been marked with difficulty, leaving me pulling through the season fighting off depression. However, this year I am once again looking forward with optimism. It’s less a change of circumstance than of attitude and requires more conscious effort than I recall in the past. But its all good.

    Best wishes for your new school year.


  2. This is so beautiful, thanks for sharing Melissa.

    Liked by 1 person

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