For girls, especially for
Once again: “words like flowers.”
It would mean that we stay bogged down in metaphysics if we were to take the name Hölderlin gives here to “words, like flowers” as being a metaphor.
True, in a curious lecture on “Problems of the Lyric,” Gottfried Benn says (1951): “This “like” is always a break in the vision, it adduces, it compares, it is not a primary statement… ,” it is “a flagging of the tension of language, a weakness of creative transformation.” This interpretation may be largely valid, for great and small poets. But it is not valid for Hölderlin’s saying, Hölderlin whose poetry Gottfried Benn – correctly from his point of view – regards accordingly as nothing more than a “herbarium,” a collection of dried-up plants.
“Words, like flowers”: that is not a “break in the vision” by the awakening of the largest view; nothing is “adduced” here, but on the contrary the word is given back into the keeping of the source of its being. There is no lack here of a “primary statement,” for here the word is brought forth from its inception; no “weakness of creative transformation” but the gentle force of the singular and innocent capacity to hear. A “creative transformation” – the sputnik is that, but it is not a poem. Gottfried Benn, in his own way, has recognized where he himself belongs. He has endured that insight. And this is what give weight to his poetic work.