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Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry

Volume 6, Issue 13, Fall 2010

Henry Weinfield
Pages 54-61

“Is There A Measure On Earth?”
Hölderlin’s Poem “In lovely Blueness” In Light Of Heidegger’s Essay “. . . Poetically Man Dwells. . . .”

This essay turns from a discussion of measure as it pertains to poetry to a discussion of Hölderlin’s poem “In Lovely Blueness” in the context of Heidegger’s essay on that poem, “Poetically Man Dwells.” For Hölderlin, paradoxically, although man measures himself against the godhead, there is a sense in which, for man, there is no measure on earth. I argue that Heidegger’s attempt to bridge the gap between absence and presence has the effect of “retheologizing” the poem and distorting its meaning. The argument proceeds partly by measuring several English translation of the poem against one another.