” … Poetically Man Dwells…. “

” … Poetically Man Dwells…. ” was written by Martin Heidegger and it was published in his book: Poetry, Language, Thought, which collects Martin Heidegger’s pivotal writings on art, its role in human life and culture, and its relationship to thinking and truth. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) is a German philosopher and he counted among the main exponents of existentialism from the 20th-century. In Lovely Blue, which is a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin, is central text in Heidegger’s essay ” … Poetically Man Dwells…. “.  The writer of the essay, Heidegger, analyzes not the whole poetry but some specific phrases of it. He tries to make the poetry clear by discussing its phrases by himself. I think, Heidegger’s used language to clarify the poetry is as hard as the Hölderlin’s language use, somehow. Moreover, throughout the essay, I realized that Heidegger comes up with diverse equations in his mind for each phrase in the poetry.

As a first impression, I could not understand, whether the essay is going to mention a poetically man and how he dwells or how a man dwells, poetically? I had got my answer right after I started to read the essay. Heidegger speculates how is “man” supposed to dwell poetically and he claims that the all dwelling remain incompatible with the poetic. As a continuation of this incompatibility Heidegger asserted, he also criticizes the one (Hölderlin) who thinks that man’s dwelling is poetry or poetic.

As examples of the established equations of Heidegger through the phrases, he has got some statements such as: poetic creation, which let us dwell, is a kind of building; cultivating and caring are a kind of building; the dwelling of mortals is poetic; the taking of measure is what is poetic in dwelling; poetry is a measuring. Beside of these, Heidegger mentions other various themes in relation with phrases he give such as: relation and dominance between language and man.

In the end of the essay, unlike the idea Heidegger denoted about the relation between poetic and dwelling, he says: “Poetry builds up the very nature of dwelling. Poetry and dwelling not only do not exlude each other; on the contrary, poetry and dwelling belong together, each calling for the other.”. Then, he adds: “Do we dwell poetically? Presumably, we dwell altogether unpoetically.”. I do not know whether it is a contradiction or clarification. It may even be that I understood it wrongly.

Heidegger correlates the things in the text much so that it was hard to understand such a kind of philosophical text by a thinker. I had difficulty on understanding, although, I read the sentences multiple times. I hope that I will be able to understand it clearly in the future as being a more conversant person.






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