the way is part of the country and belongs to it. From the point of view of the sciences, it is not just difficult but impossible to see this situation. If in what follows we reflect, then, upon the way of thoughtful experience with language, we are not undertaking a methodological consideration. We are even now walking in that region, the realm that concerns us.

We speak. and speak about language. What we speak of, language, is always ahead of us. Our speaking merely follows language constantly. Thus we are continually lagging behind what we first ought to have overtaken and taken up in order to speak about it. Accordingly, when we speak of language we remain entangled in a speaking that is persistently inadequate. This tangle debars us from the matters that are to make themselves known to our thinking. But this tangle, which our thinking must never take too lightly, drops away as soon as we take notice of the peculiar properties of the way of thought, that is, as soon as we look about us in the country where thinking abides. This country is everywhere open to the neighborhood of poetry.

As we give our mind to the way of thinking, we must give thought to this neighborhood. Taken at its surface value and recounted, our first lecture deals with three matters:

First, it points to a poetic experience with language. The pointer is limited to a few remarks about Stefan George's poem "The Word."

Next, the lecture: characterizes the experience, which to prepare is our task here, as a thinking experience. Where thinking finds its way to its true destination, it comes to a focus in listening to the promise that tells us what there is for thinking to think upon.

Every question posed to the matter of thinking, every inquiry for its nature, is already borne up by the grant of what is to come into question. Therefore the proper bearing of the thinking which is needed now is to listen to the grant, not to ask questions. But since such listening is a listening for the countering word, our listening to the grant for what we are to think always develops into our asking for the answer. Our characterization of thinking as a listening sounds strange, nor is it