what "neighborhood" is supposed to mean here, and by what right we talk about such a thing. A neighbor, as the word itself tells us, is someone who dwells near to and with someone else. This someone else thereby becomes himself the neighbor of the one. Neighborhood, then, is a relation resulting from the fact that the one settles face to face with the other. Accordingly, the phrase of the neighborhood of poetry and thinking means that the two dwell face to face with each other, that the one has settled facing the other, has drawn into the other's nearness. This remark about what make a neighborhood is by way of figurative talk. Or are we already saying something to the point? What, really, does "figurative talk" mean? We are quick to give the answer, never giving it a thought that we cannot claim to have a reliable formulation so long as it remains unclear what is talk and what is imagery, and in what way language speaks in images, if indeed language docs speak so at all. Therefore we will here leave everything wide open. Let us stay with the most urgent issue, which is, to seek out the neighborhood of poetry and thinking—which now means the encounter of the two facing each other.
Fortunately we do not need either to search for this neighborhood or to seek it out. We are already abiding in it. We move within it. The poet's poem speaks to us. In our encounter with the poem, we have thought out a few things, though only in crude approximation.
Where word breaks off no thing may be
is what the poet's renunciation says; we added that here the relation between thing and word comes to light, and further that thing here means anything that in any way has being, any being as such. About the "word" we also said that it not only stands in a relation to the thing, but that the word is what first brings that given thing, as the being that is, into this "is"; that the word is what holds the thing there and relates it and so to speak provides its maintenance with which to be a thing. Accordingly, we said, the word not only stands in a relation to the thing, but this "may be" itself is what holds, relates, and