- Being at one is god-like and good, but human, too human, the mania
Which insists there is only the One, one country, one truth, and one way.
- "The Root of All Evil" as translated by Michael Hamburger
- You seek life, and a godly fire
Gushes and gleams for you out of the earth,
As, with shuddering long, you
Hurl yourself down to the flames of the Etna.
So by a queen's wanton whim
Peals were dissolved in wine- heed her not!
What folly, poet, to cast your riches
Into that bright and bubbling cup!
Yet still are you holy to me, as the might of the earth
That bore you away, audaciously perishing!
And I would follow the hero into the depths
Did love not hold me.
- The earth with yellow pears
And overgrown with roses wild
Upon the pond is bent,
And swans divine,
With kisses drunk
You drop your heads
In the sublimely sobering water.
But where, with winter come, am I
To find, alas, the floweres, and where
And the shadow of the world?
Cold the walls stand
And the wordless, in the wind
The weathercocks are rattling.
- "Halves of Life"
- As translated by Michael Hamburger
- We were eager to have done and trusted to luck.
- Now we were standing close to the summit's rim, gazing out into the endless East.
- What is all that men have done and thought over thousands of years, compared with one moment of love. But in all Nature, too, it is what is nearest to perfection, what is most divinely beautiful! There all stairs lead from the threshold of life. From there we come, to there we go.
- What is the wisdom of a book compared with the wisdom of an angel?
- I call on Fate to give me back my soul.
- It was not delight, not wonder that arose among us, it was the peace of heaven.
A thousand times have I said it to her and to myself: the most beautiful is also the most sacred. And such was everything in her. Like her singing, even so was her life.
- Before either of us knew it, we belonged to each other.
- This name is fake. I was never called Hölderlin, but Scardanelli!
- Upon seeing an edition of his own poetry. Original German: "Der Name ist gefälscht. Ich habe nie Hölderlin geheissen, sondern Scardanelli!"
- Like a poet man lives.
- Original: Dichterlich wohnt der Mensch.
- Martin Heidegger attributed this quote to Hölderlin in his lecture upon him.