Friedrich Hoelderlin (1770-1843) is now recognized as one of Europe's supreme poets. He first found his true voice in the epigrams and odes he wrote when transfigured by his love for the wife of a rich banker. He later embarked on an extraordinarily ambitious sequence of hymns exploring cosmology and history, from mythological times to the discovery of America and his own era. The 'Canticles of Night', by contrast, include enigmatic fragments in an unprecedented style, which anticipates the Symbolists and Surrealists. Together the works collected here show Hoelderlin's use of Classical and Christian imagery and his exploration of cosmology and history in an attempt to find meaning in an uncertain world.
As well as his poems on classical themes, the German poet Friedrich Holderlin (1770-1843) is author of the novel HYPERION. Michael Hamburger was born in Berlin in 1924. His family emigrated to England in 1933. His own collections of poetry include FLOWERING CACTUS, WEATHER AND SEASON and OWNERLESS EARTH: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, and his many distinguished translations include versions of Hofmannsthal and Grass, as well as the POEMS AND FRAGMENTS, on which he worked for many years.