Poetry by Nathaniel Tarn
The thirty hymns of The Hölderliniae are inspired by the intricacies and transcendent humanity of Beethoven’s last quartets. Nathaniel Tarn’s new book opens with a biographical note on the “Poet of Poets,” Friedrich Hölderlin, setting the scene and introducing the doomed love of the poet’s life, Diotima; it ends in the Neckar River, the river of Hölderlin’s birth and death. Via affairs of love and polity, Tarn speaks through Hölderlin, and Hölderlin speaks through Tarn. The French Revolution—which Hölderlin supported passionately until the Reign of Terror—illuminates our war-torn, ecologically precarious age, as the failures of our age recall those past tragedies. Line after line carries Hölderlin’s hope in an ideal of a poetry that can englobe all the mind’s disciplines and make a universe of its own.
“Tarn’s books have inspired a wild, almost religious devotion among readers. His work is a tremendous force field in which world and perception collaborate in the construction of innovative formal ‘architextures’ for a sensual language that has no like. Tarn is one of the most elegant and formidably intelligent minds in contemporary poetry. His books open up a means