still covetous of things, from the work of the visage to the "heart's work."13 Song is difficult when the singing may no longer be solicitation hut must be existence. For the god Orpheus, who abides endlessly in the open, song is easy, but not for man. That is why the second stanza of that sonnet asks:

But when are we?
Wann aber sind wir?

The stress is on the "are," not on the "we." There is no question that we belong among beings and are present in this respect. However, there is still the question of when we are in such a way that our being is song. And not just song whose singing resounds indiscriminately; but song that is truly a singing, song whose sound is not attached to something to be attained in the end but instead is shattered even in the sounding, so that only the very thing that is sung comes to presence. Thus men say more when they risk more than beings themselves are. Those who risk more, according to the poem, "by a breath risk more." The sonnet we have cited concludes:

To sing in truth is another breath.
A breath for nothing. A blowing in God. A wind.

In Wahrheit singen, ist ein andrer Hauch.
Ein Hauch um nichts. Ein Wehn im Gott. Ein Wind.

Herder writes in his Reflections on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind (Sämtliche Werke, ed. Suphan, vol. XIII, p. 355):

A breath of our mouth is the picture of the world, the type of our thoughts and feelings in the soul of another. Every human thing that man has ever thought, willed, done, and will do upon earth has depended on the movement of a bit of air; for we would all still be wanderers in the woods if this divine breath had not inspired us and hovered on our lips like a charm.

The breath by which those who risk more risk more does not only or primarily mean the hardly noticeable (because fleeting) measure of a difference; rather, it signifies directly the word and the essence of language. The ones who by a breath risk more risk it with language. They are the saying ones who are saying more. For this one breath by which they risk more is not just saying in general; rather, the one breath is an other breath, a saying other than what human saying usually is. The other breath no longer solicits for this or that objective thing; it is a breath for nothing. The saying


Why Poets? (GA 5) by Martin Heidegger