Friday, April 13, 2012
Richard Polt on the turn to poetry.
[A]n inception can happen now or in the future. His entry into politics in 1930 was clearly intended to contribute to an inception – the genesis of (genuine) history, (genuine) time, and a (genuine) clearing. As he sees it then, being is not always already granted to “us” as members of a species; it is granted (or genuinely granted) only when we wrestle with who we historically are and, by working out the meaning of things, do our share in allowing being to happen. “The essence of beings comes to the light of day only when human beings, rooted in their heritage and vocation, put essence to work [das Wesen erwirkt].” [P. 70] During the course of the 1930s, Heidegger’s enthusiasm for political “work” wanes and sours, but he insists all the more urgently on a founding inception – now thought primarily in poetic terms. “Poetry is the basic happening of being as such. It founds being and must found it.” “The poet is the grounder of being.” Poetry happens at the times when time itself happens most intensely – moments that Heidegger, following Hölderlin, calls “the peaks of time.” [All three GA 39]
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