Holderlin walks down a rural road reciting verses aloud. Suddenly he hears someone shout his name: “Holderlin! Holderlin!” He turns around but does not see anyone. “Holderlin! Holderlin! ” He looks up to the sky covered in low clouds. “It must be the Muses,” he says to himself, then shouts to the sky: “What do you want, Muses?” “Out of my way!” Suddenly, from the clouds, a strange flying artifact emerges and descends quickly towards Holderlin. “Shit!” he exclaims, and runs to avoid the impact. While he runs like a bat out of hell, the artifact lands noisily on a leafy top of a tree at the edge of the road. When hearing the impact, Holderlin stops and looks back. To his surprise, he sees the road clear and without any sign of impact at all. He resumes his walk, and when passing by a leafy tree, he turns all of a sudden upon hearing some branches break and beholds the tree fall of an acquaintance of his, Karl Humboldt, a Weimar eccentric inventor.
-Humbolt! You’ve fallen from the tree like a ripe fruit! But do not fear: I won’t spread the bruit!
-Cut the versification and help me take off this harness!
Soon after, both are walking along the road towards Weimar.
-But how could you think of trying to fly like birds? That’s unnatural.
-As far as I know, birds don’t go all the time turning a hand crank. But it must be turned fast and I was exhausted.
-If God had wanted the human being to fly, He would have given him wings.
-To tell you the truth, I do this to impress a woman. I lack your talent to write beautiful verses. But I’m crafty with mechanics.
-I don’t know of no man who has conquered a woman through mechanics.
-Would you teach me to versify, Holderlin?
-Pay attention. The first thing you have to do is think of something nice. The theme around which your poem will revolve.
-I said something nice.
-A nice screwdriver!
-But let’s see, can not you think of anything more nice than a screwdriver?
-How about a hammer?
-Do you think a hammer is nice?
-There are very nice hammers in Wolfang’s! And at a reasonable price.
-And your beloved? Hasn’t occurred to you to think about your beloved?
-You said something nice …
-Your beloved isn’t nice?
-Can a woman with a mustache be considered nice?
-But you do find her nice, right? That’s what matters. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, remember this.
-Okay. The second step consists of composing harmonious phrases allusive to that nice thing. What’s the first name of your beloved?
-For goodness sake! What kind of name is that?
-She is foreign.
-Okay. Now try to compose a harmonious phrase with that name.
Humboldt puts his thinking cap on. After a long time, already in sight of Weimar, he burst out saying:
“Prtzil grabs a screwdriver”!
-For goodness sake! Think of something natural. Nature is the greatest source of inspiration for the poet.
-“Prtzil grabs an asparagus”?!
-Look, Humboldt, you know what?
-Find another method to impress your beloved.
-What about doing a handstand?
And (as we will see further on) Humboldt takes good note of this advice.