Monday, February 7, 2011

Holderlin responses


  1. Friedrich Holderlin - The Half of Life
    (Henry Kellison, per. 6)

    Holderlin’s concise work addresses the cyclic nature of the seasons and the beauty of fall and spring. The poem is divided into two stanzas - one addresses his passion for the spring and summer, and the other expresses his distaste for the cold and bitter winter. This clear division between the two seasons, along with Holderlin’s vivid descriptions (“The shore hangs into the lake”) clearly establish both a sense of natural rhythm and the writer’s polarizing feelings about the four seasons. Holderlin’s subtle reference to the “sobering holy water” in which the swans float associates the peace and tranquility of the summer with a Christian motif. This marks the poem as one of the Romantic Era, in which many artists and poets rejected the scientific dissection of nature and attempted to bring the focus back to its ethereal quality.

  2. Brevity: Sam Shook Response

    In the poem, there is a significant emphasis on a joy in expression, with his lamenting of the lacking of love for song in the target of the poem. The reference to the glow of the sunset could also have to do with an interest in nature or scenery. The bluntness of the sentences could have something to do with the emphasis on spontaneity of thought and action. The somewhat abrupt introduction of the subject of the poem could also be related to this spontaneity. Personally, I thought that the poem was just a touch too brief to really affect me, and so I had little emotional response to it.

  3. Daniel House, 1st period, "Brevity"

    Brevity seems to be a typical example of romantic poetry as I understood it, full of sadness and emotion that comes across just a bit too depressing. At first glance, I thought the poem too cryptic to be able to derive any great meaning from. Upon a second and third reading however, I was able to glean the poems meaning. Holderlin's aptly named laconic work describes the laments of an old man, who has lost joy in life due to the weakness that comes with his old age. The metaphoric use of the times of day in the poem serves to artistically represent the different phases of life, with the night being the final age in which the subject will finally be taken by death. I actually found this poem a little depressing as it relates the story of someone who no longer finds pleasure in the activities he partook of as a youth, and has thus become disillusioned with life. I hope that when I become an old man, I retain my love for living and experiencing that which can be found in this best of all possible worlds.

  4. Friedrich Holderlin - "The Half of Life"
    Rachel Zein - 8th period

    In this poem Holderlin succinctly expresses his views on the summer and winter seasons. Gorgeous, calming phrases such as “O gracious swans” and “sobering holy water” exhibit the fact that the writer adores the summer season, wheras phrases such as “walls stand cold” and “speechless, in the wind” suggest that Holderlin does not care for winter. The heavy emphasis on the beautiful, surreal-like quality of nature establishes this poem as Romantic, as well as the association of human moods with the seasons. Holderlin views summer to be bright and peaceful whereas he sees winter as harsh and despotic. I was captivated after the first stanza with its description of peaceful, calming scenery and found the second stanza to be just as intense despite the fact that it focused on an entirely different state of mind.

  5. The Half of Life
    Holderlin's poem begins by describing a romantically natural setting in the spring. Holderlin describes "wild roses" and "gracious swans," as well as other aspects of nature that are indicative of the thriving nature of spring. However, in the second of two stanzas, Holderlin begins to describe a natural setting in winter. Holderlin asks "Where will I find/Flowers," and in his description of "weathervanes creaking," the author uses the reader's auditory senses to replace the typical sounds of spring (birds chirping, etc.) with the barren, manmade sounds of winter. However, Holderlin makes the statement of the poem in its title. "Half of Life" tells readers to consider that winter, while less thrilling and scenic, is a part of life equal to more abundant seasons. Holderlin's use of diction and sensory imagery puts readers into a pensive state,and the intense focus on nature classifies the poem as romantic.
    Thomas Massad, Period 7

  6. Michelle Zhang, 6th Pd
    Analysis of "Brevity"

    By incorporating a wistful tone, Holderlin brings a feeling of involuntary nostalgia, even to those whose “youthful days” have not yet passed. The poem is reflective, almost passive in its choice of words and tense, but at the same time assertive in its harsh criticism of those who let their days of youth pass by unremarkably. Like with Blake and so many other poets in the Romantic era, Holderlin uses nature as a parallel to human emotion and experience, simply because nature’s spontaneity is relatable to us as we struggle to grasp the meanings of our own spontaneous emotions and experiences. The brevity of the poem itself ties in with the first line, “Why are you so brief?” by suggesting that the poem’s ideas, as well as the narrator’s experiences, comes and goes quickly. The meaning we are left with, albeit through abrupt means, is startling and prompts us to think of our own ephemeral youth and what is left of it.

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  8. Hannah Bangs 7th
    "The Half of Life"

    This Romantic poem exalts the beauty of a moment in a spontaneous and concise manner that leaves readers with the idea that beauty is fleeting. The poem is only two stanzas, one where Holderlin is enjoying the beauty of a sunny spring day, and the next where he is recognizing that this moment must end come winter. The phrase "wild roses" suggests that the scenery is natural and undisturbed which is a romantic theme. The mention of the swans dipping their heads into "holy water" is tying religion into nature which brings up god's role in the creation of this beauty. The death of the beauty is a reflection on our own lives, and recognizes that we too have our own primes created by God and that those blissful moments of life must also end when the beauty has run its coarse.

  9. Narda Salinas, 6th Period

    In “The Half of Life”, Holderlin divides his poem into two scenes, or better yet, two perspectives of life. His first stanza composes of spring filled “with its yellow pears/and wild roses everywhere”. The swans in the lake are “drunk with kisses” and full of pleasure. In this case, spring is associated with the joyful portion of life. This is the era where one can enjoy sunshine, and flowers, and every other aspect of nature. The second stanza transitions to winter, otherwise known as the bland and weary portion of life. In nature “walls stand cold/ And speechless, in the wind.” The ground is hard, the sun shines no more, and the world rests cold. Life no longer bustles, and the chirping of young birds and breezes is replaced by “weathervanes creaking”. The weathervanes, manmade objects, intrude this scene of nature, correlating the unfeeling tone of winter to human isolation from nature, a recurring romantic theme. Although the poem included the cold side of life, it was realistic approach and I appreciated that about it.

  10. 6th Period

    “Brevity” discusses the transition from youth to old age. Hölderlin creates a dialogue to make this poem seem very personal and individualistic. He associates old age with the coming of night. Hölderlin personifies the night, associating it with the most elegant symbol of nature, the bird. The acute imagery describing the temperature change contributes to this feeling as well. The harsh contrast of the red glow in the evening and the cold earth evokes the coming of death. This poem, though it had a somber tone, pointed out that joy is not limited to “youthful days.” It can be found in old age but in a different drawer. After analyzing the poem, the prospect of death did not seem so somber, because the joy of song can be found in the prospect of finishing life's episode contently.

  11. Brevity

    The “bird of night” that flies close to humanity is symbolic of religion. But the fact that it flies down when the “earth is cold” and the red glow of evening has gone away, is symbolic of something more sinister, perhaps judgment. The reaction illustrated in this poem of “covering your eyes” to the bird is an obvious allusion to Holderlin’s opinions of the direction society was taking in regard to religion. And along this vein, the songs that humanity no longer sings are the hymns and prayers exalting God that the people were scorning for their logic. It is the fact that these songs are becoming brief and less meaningful to society that they are facing the black bird. It is Holderlin’s call for a return to religion that makes this poem classically romantic.

  12. Clara Warner, 6th period
    "The Half Life"

    In this poem, Holderlin creates two different modds. First he presents the joy of spring "with its yellow pears" and its "gracious swans" which paints a picture of a deep and warm happiness. He then asks where he will find "the sunshine and shade of the earth" once winter strikes. Holderlin crafts an instant mood change with the next few words in the poem. "Walls stand cold and speechless," he says. These words paint an image of darkness and solidarity that envelope you in a mood of depression that was not there durring the spring.

  13. ~Raeneisha Cole/Period 8

    The ideas of youth and old age are the main ideas of "Brevity". In the poem, Holderlin uses nature to demonstrate romanticism due to his portraying of it as unpredictable or spontaneous. The narrator’s experiences are easily noticeable and understandable when seen. His personal experiences and emotions help to portray the idea of romanticism, as it evokes pity in the readers. Holderlin brings a feeling of yearning for things of the past, as well as your youthful days. I feel like this want or need for things to sort of be back like they were or when you were young only causes grief and time to pass sooner, when in fact, you should be enjoying things as they are. All in all, after reading the assertive poem, i get from it that I should not let my days of youthfulness pass by (these were the people that Holderlin despised of).

  14. Alexa Etheredge "Brevity"
    There are two different tones that are present in this poem. Holderlin creates a tone of joy, joy forgotten, joy abandoned and joy left behind for the sorrow that is now. Those "[d]ays of hope" are left behind for the "bird of night" and there is a sorrow of past joy not to be felt again. The romanticism in this poem is strong, for it shows the depressing and sorrowful feeling that is present throughout the era. It also displays the nature side of romanticism when Holderlin says the "red glow of evening" is fading when "the bird of night flies down.

  15. Christina Clemens - Period 8

    Upon first reading this poem, I questioned it's shortness. Looking at it more, though, I realized it lives up to its name. The poem needs not longer lines or added stanzas to get its point across, though, and that's what I like about it. Through a great choice of few words and descriptive imagery of nature (with ties into Romanticism), he makes clear about his stance in life right now ("Now it's gone away", referring to his joy) as well as why his poems are small, and he has no problem with it.

  16. The Half of Life, Friedrich Holderlin

    Holderlin’s poem uses Nature and its scenery, exploring their passage through time. The first verse gives the audience a taste of fullness, of an fertile land, “brimming with wild rose,” swans “drunk with kisses.” The next verse moves to winter, and steals away the elements of verse one – “and where the sunshine and shadows of the earth?” – leaving the audience with the empty walls of winter, “speechless and cold.” So the poem moves me from contentment and happy wonder, observing the swans dip their necks into the water, to a cold withdrawal of all that emotion. Life is lost in the winter. In the wind, only “weathervanes chatter.”

    Katherine Nehyba, period 8

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  18. In "The Half of Life", Holderlin explores the difference's between the times of fall/winter and spring/summer. He describes how beautiful nature is during the spring time and how it makes you "drunk with kisses", while during the winter months you stand "speechless, in the wind". The poem which is divided into two stanza's begins with the joyous happy tones of spring, he describes how the wild flowers blanketing the shores spill over into the lake while during the winter months the "Walls stand cold". By ending the last three lines with cold, wind, and creak he leaves you with the harsh impression of the cold wind causing everything around you to stand fast and start creaking and moaning which is generally not a pleasant sound. By turning the tone of the poem from joyous and happy to sad a solemn he leaves the reader wanting to again to return the joyous times of spring just as we know will happen the cycles of nature.

    Mason Shea- 1st

  19. On "The half of Life"

    This poem talks mainly of nature and Holderlin's feeling for it's grandeur. Filled with beauty, the first stanza seems to say as he list several instances of natural grace. Once we enter the second stanza, however, we can see that perhaps Holderlin isn't entirely talking about nature. He could have just lost a love, and the "flowers [he wants to find] come winter" is the happiness love used to bring him. Winter then is not only the season but the time in his life Holderlin is without love. I enjoyed this poem because it's length left most of the meaning up to the interpretation of the reader.

  20. In the poem "A Pine Is Standing Lonely", the use of imagery and metaphors are the two main devices used to bring about a wistful, empty, cold mood. A mood of sorrow pain, the feeling that the reader can understand and, sadly, relate to the pain of the tree. The imagery of "a bare plateau..enshrouds him in ice and snow" brings about the mood of pain, isolation, and a world of cruelty. Also this poem brings up the theme of humans wanting what another has even though the other is suffering. The palm tree himself is "quietly mourning" which brings about the feeling of the unescapable burden of life. I feel a cold, kind of empty feeling of sorrow because it is impossible not to be alone, or to be in pain. Pain is inescapable

    Bobbi Sears

  21. Holderlin's "The half of Life" shows a deep connection between emotion and nature, specifically the seasons. In the first stanza, the Holderlin is joyous and amazed at the summer season and its splendor. The author shows deep content in the joys of summer, where you "drunk with kisses" and sober yourself in water, and see flowers and fruit in the meadows. But in the second stanza, The winter arrives, bringing sadness and depression. In this second stanza, Holderlin hints that the problem is humanity, by referencing walls and weather vanes.

  22. Brevity
    Filled with heavy elements, this poem creates a wistful tone throughout. It appeals to the nature aspect of romanticism using phrases repeatedly like "the earth is cold, and the bird of night flies down" to help create the wistful tone. Like lots of romantic poems, imagery plays a major role in the creation of tone as well. This poem evokes feelings of sadness and wistfulness in me. Not only was it a melancholy poem, it ended on a rather thoughtful note, that left me in a state of wonder.

  23. Brevity by Friedrich Holderlin

    I had to look up the word "brevity" because I felt like there was a double meaning and there was. One definition was the "shortness of time" and the other was "expressing much with a few words". I decided that the poem was talking about the other one definition. In that sense, the author's wistful tone questioned why the birds' songs have to be so brief. As the sun goes down, songbirds must eventually go to bed and make way for "the bird of the night". This poem is Romantic is more noticeable when one puts the overall idea together. Generally, poems are to be eloquent and not brief, but this poem described the passing of warmer into colder seasons with the "earth cold" or even just day going into night. I thought that this poem was successful in being eloquent without wordy and this was likely his intention.

    -Kim Pham, 1st period

  24. Half of Life

    In this poem Hölderlin connects the seasons to emotions of love. The first stanza has an uplifting tone that captures love in a positive form. He describes the sumer using vivid descriptions making everything seem surreal as love can be. But, then the tone shifts as he progresses into the second stanza. With the cold harsh weather comes isolation and blandness. "Walls stand cold" as if everything loses life. This stanza represents the worst of love, rejection.

  25. The Half of Life
    This poem depicts scenery and nature and the word choice gives it a romantic sound. He uses nature to describe his forbidding of winter in the second stanza when he says “Ah, where will I find flowers, come winter”. This shows that he fears all beauty will be gone when harsher times come. The words “kisses” “gracious” and “sunshine” are all used to show how romantic the world can be and how her beauty can shine. This poem actually made me feel really calm until the second stanza where it got depressing. I think the poem is meant to set you up for disappointment just like real life seems to.
    Annalee Alston
    Period 3

  26. "The Half of Life" is a poem that describes nature and scenery in an interesting fashion. The first stanza is more joyous than the second, and it depicts things that people typically associate with romance and happiness- swans, fresh fruit, and roses. The second, however, takes a more negative viewpoint. It mentions cold and shadows, which can be interpereted as the opposite of the life and love that the first stanza represents. The author also contrasts the summer and spring of the first stanza with winter in the second, describing how all the lovely things that are present in the warmer seasons will be gone without a trace in the winter, when it gets cold and the sun doens't light up the scenery like it used to.

    ~Kerry Anderson
    3rd period

  27. The Half of Life, by Friedrich Holderlin

    This poem demonstrates fairly accuratly a concept of the romanticism movement. The first paragraph of the poem paints a picture of happyness and nature. Holderlin describes it as "holy lucid water" and "brimming with wile roses" and "gracious." However, in the second paragraph Holderlin sharply contrasts this with civilization. Holderlin asks where he will find all of the good things he referenced in the first paragraph. But he says simply "walls stand, speechless and cold." This exaggerated contrast between nature and civilization is an example of the romantic movement.

    - Lane Kolbly, 7

  28. The "Half of Life" by Friedrich Holderlin

    In the first stanza, Holderlin shows the abundant joy and life of the spring and summer seasons. Life is mobile and thriving as he illustrates the "gracious swans" and "wild roses everywhere." Presumably, the swans "drunk with kisses" dip their heads in the "sobering water," associating an element of new life and rebirth with the warmer seasons. In contrast, Holderlin reveals the winter to be void of life. "Walls stand cold, speechless" to personify the cold human emotions and moods common during this time. The title initially foreshadows this dual nature between the seasons, and literally suggests that half of the year is abundant in life. The overall theme remains hinted towards the dynamic nature of human emotion as time passes.

    -Zach Krebs, 7th period

  29. "The Half of Life"
    The first stanza is bright and cheerful, like spring. The colors and freshness breeds joy and happy thoughts in the readers head. The mood drastically changes in the second stanza as it describes winter and how everything is gone. It brings the reader back to reality and like most poems in this period leaves a sense of longing. Longing for the bright colors and joy of spring in the bare winter.

    Bailey Shelton

  30. on "the half of life"

    This poem makes me think of being outdoors. And the changing of seasons. It somewhat captures how I usually feel so uncertain when the seasons change. I get a reference to an outdoor "churchy" kind of idea. Thinking of the pond water as holy water, cleansing almost. Very nice.

    --pamela shaw, Molly Gipson's mom

  31. The Half of Life

    This poem was my favorite of them all. The way that Holderlin represented his passion for nature and the beauty of the natural cycle of seasons was outstanding. The way the poem was written was in a cycle itself It began with the life of spring, and started to question the beauty of winter as the poem progressed. As optimistic and fruitful as it seems in the beginning, it quickly sucks the life out from it towards the end. Which relates perfectly to winter, since its hard for nature to survive.

  32. Juliana Hall 1st Period
    Response to "Brevity"

    "Brevity" fully embraces the notions of Romanticism. Imagination and personal expression are the main point in this brief, eight-line poem. Holderlin uses simile to relate emotions to personal expression, which directly correlates to Romanticism. Honderlin states, "My joy is like my song", which is a a newer, romantic view that many poets adopted. I felt an emotional connection to the poem, because it describes a person becoming numb to their art, and generally themselves, which occurs for everyone at some point in time.

  33. Friedrich Holderlin
    “The Half of Life”
    Sydney Cho

    “The Half of Life” shifts from nostalgia and longing to loathing in its concise two stanzas. The first stanza, of spring and summer, is saturated with imagery: Holderlin describes the seasons as “brimming with wild roses” where the feeling of love is so ubiquitous that even the swans are “drunk with kisses”. The second stanza, however, features no commentary from the author, and simply details how the intolerable winter is so cold that the “weathervanes chatter” and the walls offer no consolation nor response to his questions of where he may find “when winter comes, the flowers”.

    Holderlin’s work is a perfect example of a poem in the Romanticism era, for it emphasizes the increased interest in Nature, using it as tools for imagery as well as metaphors. This poem may also be pointing to seasons not just physical, but metaphorical – to age, where the first stanza represents youth and the second stanza symbolizes the loss of it, and a renewed quest for identity in the midst of the winter of one’s life. I enjoyed this poem despite its brevity, for I felt that it expressed a surprising amount of ideas in such few words. I was further impressed by how the author sculpted such contrastive tones in those few lines, beginning with sunny recollections and ending with a note of bitter resignation.

  34. Half of Life
    2. This poem begins with vivid descriptions of the beauty of nature. He compares nature to happiness and freedom, which is in accordance with romanticism. Further, he continues his poem into winter. He negatively describes this season as if the lack of warmth also creates a lack of joy. In this sense, Holderlin mirrors the seasons with life’s enjoyable and unpleasant experiences, and even more, civilization’s negative influences. He therefore makes the point that nature brings happiness and society, then, does not. Thus, through his use of imagery, emphasis on nature, and parallels to emotions, this poem displays romanticism.

  35. Alec Brown, Period 3

    "The Half of Life"

    The title is the main thing that holds much of the meaning. The poem itself describes, though in great detail, a picturesque spring scene and it's cold winter contrast. It could mean anything, as nothing is really being said except for a description. But the title says that what Holderlin is describing is "The Half of Life", meaning one half of the scene is life, alive and well, and the other is cold and still. The spring scene, "With its yellow pears
    And wild roses everywhere" (1-2), is the half of life because it is full of life, and the winter scene "Walls stand cold and speechless, in the wind the weather vanes creak" (12-14), is the opposite because it's cold and still, a contrast to life.

  36. Melanie Hall (Juliana's parental unit)
    Response to "The Half of Life"

    With few words, the poet evokes scenes of summer's bounty & lushness and winter's bleakness that appeal to all of the reader's senses. The longing described makes one believe that these words were written in the throes of a cold, stark winter landscape. In a less literal sense, it also eludes to love lost - 'drunk with kisses' and then 'sobering holy water.' Maybe a romance gone sour, or fading with the change of seasons? A love gone cold and silent.

  37. The Half of Life

    This poem is depicting the change of seasons and how, in the poem, it symbolizes life. The two seasons being portrayed are Spring and Winter and the aspects of life that they symbolize are love and the lack thereof. Holderlin is presenting the idea that there are times in life when love is plentiful and there are equally as frequent times where it is not. This is an ideal that aligns itself well with Romanticism and the depictions of nature to portray the symbols puts this poem even further into the romantic genre. The beauty of nature, even throughout the sadder stanza shines through to personify the aspects of life even more clearly.

    Rebecca Gilson period 3

  38. The Half of Life

    Monica FALCON, period 1

    This poem discusses the two exponentially different seasons that the world goes through, being that of spring and the other of winter. Spring represents the time in life where love is existent and the feeling of obtaining such a thing is beautiful and makes one feel as if everything is beautiful in the world. The other season, winter however is the opposite of this. The season of winter is mostly associated with death and the decaying of nature, much like the lonely feeling that one would go through if they felt depressed due to the fact that they didn't have romance in their life. Holderlin formats the poem in such a way where the last lingering thought that the reader remembers is how sad that life is when love is lost and makes time appear to stop due to the mourning. Though the first stanza of the poem discusses the true happiness one can achieve through love, what captures and stays with the reader is the emotion one can feel when love is completely lost.

  39. Friedrich Holderlin, “The Half of Life”

    In Holderlin’s poem “The Half of Life”, the duality that both humans and nature possess is showcased. There is a theme of interconnectedness between these two groups (a key concept of Romanticism, mind you), and the roles that both play in the grander scheme of the world. This poem has two phases, much like the two phases that the subject(s) experiences. Holderlin expresses his apprehension about nature, and it’s inevitable morphing qualities, “ah, where will I find/Flowers, come winter?” Even more, Holderlin juxtaposes descriptions of life and prosperity with death and destitution. In the first stanza there is prose about “wild roses everywhere…/Oh gracious swans,/And drunk with kisses.” By the second, and final stanza, the mood changes all together, and the prose reads as “shade of earth/Walls stand cold/And speechless, in the wind/The wheathervanes creak.” The emotions that Holderlin instills in the reader (myself included) upon the poem’s summation are ones of uncertainty, but at the same time, acceptance. Although Holderlin ends the poem on an inquisitive note, the overall idea that life is a primitive and inexplicable demon with many facets is made clear.

    Olivia Berkeley

  40. "The Half of Life"

    In Holderlin's poem he talks about the beauty of spring and contrasts it with the gloom that arrives with winter. His personification of the "walls [that] stand cold/ And speechless, in the wind" help the reader unserstand the isolation he associates with winter time. Instead of just, refering to nature itself the walls could also represent the dark, somberness often associated with industrialization its grimy work. The aspects of nature's beauty and industrialization are contrasted by Holderlin in this poem, qualities of romantic literature. This poem makes me fell like that without springtime, we are forced into a dark, unnatural isolation.

  41. Brevity exemplifies several characteristics of a Romantic poem. The stress on nature and imagery often resorting to examples of nature and imagination are important for the movements. The poem itself is somewhat confusing in its point. It either tells the tale of a dying lover, or the lost of an interest or hobby. If it does tell of the lost hobby then the heavy use of personification further points to the newer age of literature.

  42. Alina Vega
    The Half of Life
    Holderlin creates a beautifully Romantic landscape with his language. His words are like pigments, each creating a blotch of color that makes up the overall painting. The painting is almost split down the middle. On one side, he speaks of what seems to be Utopia, plush with happiness and warmth, with words like “yellow,” “kisses,” and “gracious.” On the other side of the painting he speaks of harsh winters, associated with suffering when the world seems to die from the cold. He is “speechless” then, lost from his happy world, and he can no longer find flowers or sunlight. Every aspect of this scene seem to be given from nature, except for the one fleck of manmade mess marring the painting. The weathervanes leaves a heavy note on the end of the poem, creaking “in the wind.” The single manmade object seems to be the heaviest part of the poem, dragging the reader down and burying them from the loss of the Utopia that Holderlin first painted.

  43. Brevity

    Holderlin brings the poem into the darker side of Romanticism, the side of Romanticism that Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther brought out. Holderlin puts the idea of the lack of joy into his poem and he literally says "My joy is like my song...Now it's gone away." The depictions of song and how it brings joy for a short period of time also rings true of the romantic era and the emphasis placed on music. A connection that I find is in the idea of song and then in the end when a bird of the night comes and swoops down. Birds are musical creatures and their communication is musical. In that stanza of the poem Holderlin is mourning the lack of music and I think the connection is deep.

    Rebecca Gilson period 3

  44. "Half of Life"

    This poem shows Romanticism because of its ties between God and nature. The swans are the nature in this case, and they dip their heads into the "sobering holy water". The fact that the water is referred to as "sobering", shows the time period's take on religion. It shows how they were now seeing religion as kind of a separate part of people from human emotion. To think about religion pulls you out of whatever feelings you were having and turns you to God, creating a rather sober effect. It also pulls you out of the individual, and turns you to the big picture.

    Lucy Kalar
    1st period

  45. Holderlin makes ties to nature to bring emotion to the reader. "Gracious swans," and "holy water" are a good reference point for a person, they both lead to a pure, serene setting. Roses, too, are a joyful thought rather than a dark feeling. At the end, however, he wonders what is to come of this place. The flowers will wither in the winter cold, and weathervanes will creak, bring a sense of foreboding, using the cold of winter as an idea of the world dying.
    Geoff Shannon - 7th Period

  46. Response to "The Half of Life":
    The poem starts with standard romantic natural imagery, but the first stanza turns darker at "soberly." What might have been a happy and picaresque natural poem turns into a romantic poet seeing a winter image as he looks at the summer scene. Suddenly the emo romanticness kicks in, and the world turns cold. But of course, as walls are always speechless and rusty weather-vanes often creak, he's just spouting facts. His emotional inability to accept summer is a symptom of rampant Romanticism. Like all these other poets, he really needs to start writing something else. The dark romanticism of this poem disgusts me.
    Arlen W 8th

  47. In "The Half of Life" Holderlin creates two different moods. Both stanzas have scenery and images of nature, important parts of romantic poetry, but the way the nature is addressed differs in the two stanzas. In the first stanza, nature is looked at as joyful, and the season of spring is described to set a happy mood. Holderlin describes spring's emotions as "drunk with kisses." He also uses words like "gracious" and "lucid" to describe his happy emotions. In the second stanza, the winter part of nature is looked at. He asks, "where the sunshine?" He appears "speechless" and lost" in this cold, because he is unused to the unhappiness that comes along with winter.
    Luisa Venegoni
    Period 7

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  49. In "The Half of Life" Holderlin divides his poem into two stanzas with separate moods to express his liking towards spring and summer and his disliking towards autumn and winter. One can see this is a romantic poem because of its setting in Nature and the natural setting with little to do with humans. The humans in the poem are not mentioned but are expressed in the line "And drunk with kisses" which is used to add to the disorderly manifestation created in the poem denoting the Romantic time period. In addition to the untamed scenery, there is a brief reference to religion when the couple "drunk with kisses" dip their heads in the "holy water". This reference also denotes the Romantic time period writing style. In the first stanza the poet describes the scene by using words such as, "gracious" to create a tranquil tone. This is contradicted in the second stanza when the poet describes autumn and winter. He starts by using negatives to describe the two seasons. Where in the spring, there were "roses everywhere" Holderlin questions "where will I find/Flowers,". He also uses the same concept to show the omission of sunlight. This poem honestly had little emotional influence on me. Perhaps this is because of my stubborn love for the cold seasons.

    Kevin Ku
    Per. 6

  50. Kathryn Laflin Period 8 "The Half of Life"

    In "The Half of Life" Holderlin shows the emphasis on the need for spontaneity in thought and in the expression of thought. By using the phrases such as "And the breezes of heaven Played with me," the author shows the thoughtlessness in the joys of childhood days. The author shows that the spontaneousness days were carefree, and in better spirits. The author is able to show that the spirits are better and is able to push the audience into relaxing and not forcing things, without seeming forceful or demanding.