"Remembrance" ❦ 123

in his historical being, and recognized as the poet with a historical destiny? We see in this line that it is not the poet who aims his thought at the greeted one, but that the greeted one conveys itself in thought to him, the one who greets. The northeast wind is never just the messenger through whom the poet sends his greetings. The northeast itself is welcomed before all else, because this wind, through its blowing, makes clear for the poet the location and the time of his poetic vocation; it brings it about that he must think of what has been and of what is coming. Indeed, he is to think of what has been as what is to come. Still I remember this well is a transitional line. It seems to interrupt the greeting and the abiding with what is greeted. But in truth it binds what-has-been and what has been greeted together with what-is-coming and sends the greeting. For the learning of his own poetic vocation is something which is coming, which also allows the homelike to be something which is coming. The transitional line which leads on from the first to the second stanza is a way of catching one's breath before allowing the supreme encounter with what the greeting northeast wind blows to the poet. True, this wind "goes" away from the poet. But one of the mysteries of re-thinking-of [An-denken] is that it thinks toward what-has-been, in such a way, though, that what-has-been comes back to the one who thinks of it, coming from the opposite direction. Of course this does not mean that what-has-been remains standing now like a kind of object present in the present moment of a mere representation. If remembrance of what-has-been lets this be in its own essence, and does not disturb it by a hasty misreckoning, trying to bring it into the present, then we experience what-has-been, returning in the remembrance, swinging out beyond our present, and coming to us as something futural. All at once this remembrance must think of what has been, as something which is not yet unfolded. The greeting realizes that it must think well, by greeting that which conveys itself in thought: that which has already been greeted.

    and how
The broad tree-tops of the elm wood
Lean over the mill,
But in the courtyard a fig-tree grows.