Friedrich Hölderlin's Tears

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For most of history, writing can be seen as a way to pass down one’s wisdom. Poems are a form of writing that combines philosophy with history. More often than not, poetry is a way for writers to express their true desires, sentiments, and feelings. Poems are the essence of an author’s soul. When compared, poems are similar to paintings, as both are metaphysical depictions of the creator’s mind. Both are quintessential to understanding the penman’s true rationale and cognition. They are typically the manifestations of the author’s values, beliefs, and personal experiences. Friedrich Hölderlin is a perfect example, as his work “Tears,” is a potent depiction of his last hope to cling to sanity. The poem demonstrates a state of optimism despite…show more content…
The title “Tears” suggests despair. Nevertheless, that proves untrue. Hölderlin titled the poem “Tears” to convey his tenacious preservation of hope while being surrounded by nothing but despair metaphorically. These messages are indirectly hidden, as the poem is enriched with metaphors that hint at his optimism. Hölderlin begins “Tears” by describing his dispirited situation: “By fire and thick with ash, and before then.” By specifically using “fire with thick ash,” Hölderlin is explicitly describing the demoralized and pessimistic environment he is engulfed in. Generally speaking, fire with ash often depicts the final stage of a burnt object. In other words, the end of a calamity. In another case, “Already desolate and wasted,” Hölderlin meticulously chose his words and specifically uses “ already,” to emphasize the repeating calamities he has faced before (“Tears”). The word “Wasted” has a wide scope of the definition, but in this example, it is used as an adjective to describe Hölderlin’s fragility from being previously damaged. Given these points, the beginning of “Tears” is relatively cynical and gloomy compared to the ending of the
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