Among Stefan George's late, simple, almost songlike poems there is one entitled "The Word." It was first published in 1919. Later it was included in the collection Das Neue Reich. The poem is made up of seven stanzas. The first three are clearly marked off from the next three. and these two triads as a whole are again marked off from the seventh, final stanza. The manner in which we shall here converse with this poem, briefly but throughout all three lectures, does not claim to be scientific. The poem runs:

                The Word
        Wonder or dream from distant land
        I carried to my country's strand

        And waited till the twilit norn
        Had found the name within her bourn—

        Then I could grasp it close and strong
        It blooms and shines now the front along ...

        Once I returned from happy sail,
        I had a prize so rich and frail.

        She sought for long and tidings told:
        "No like of this these depths enfold."

        And straight it vanished from my hand,
        The treasure never graced my land ...

        So I renounced and sadly see:
        Where word breaks off no thing may be.

After what we had noted earlier, we are tempted to concentrate on the poem's last line: "Where word breaks off no thing may be." For this line makes the word of language, makes language itself bring itself to language, and says something about the relation between word and thing. The content of the final line can be transformed into a statement, thus: "No thing is where the word breaks off." Where something breaks off, a breach, a diminution has occurred. To diminish means to take away, to cause a lack. "Breaks off" means "is lacking." No thing is where the word is lacking, that word

Martin Heidegger (GA 12) The Nature of Language - On the Way to Language