keeps the thing as thing; that the "may be," as such keeper, is the relation itself.

These thoughts about the poem may to some seem superfluous, importunate, and forced. But the point here is to find, in the neighborhood of the poetic experience with the word, a possibility for a thinking experience with language. That means now and first: we must learn to heed that neighborhood itself in which poetry and thinking have their dwelling. But, strangely—the neighborhood itself remains invisible. The same thing happens in our daily lives. We live in a neighborhood, and yet we would be baffled if we had to say in what that neighborhood consists. But this perplexity is merely a particular case, though perhaps an exceptionally good one, of the old encompassing perplexity in which all our thinking and saying finds itself always and everywhere. What is this perplexity we have in mind? This: we are not in a position—or if we are, then only rarely and just barely—to experience purely in its own terms a relation that obtains between two things, two beings. We immediately conceive the relation in terms of the things which in the given instance are related. We little understand how, in what way, by what means, and from where the relation comes about, and what it properly is qua relation. It remains correct, of course, to conceive of a neighborhood as a relation; and this notion applies also to the neighborhood of poetry and thinking. But the notion tells us nothing about whether poetry draws into the neighborhood of thinking, or thinking into that of poetry, or whether both are drawn into each other's neighborhood. Poetry moves in the element of saying, and so does thinking. When we reflect on poetry, we find ourselves at once in that same element in which thinking moves. We cannot here decide flatly whether poetry is really a kind of thinking, or thinking really a kind of poetry. It remains dark to us what determines their real relation, and from what source what we so casually call the "real" really comes. But—no matter how we call poetry and thought to mind, in every case one and the same element has drawn close to us—saying—whether we pay attention to it or not,