So I renounced and sadly see: Where word breaks off no thing may be.
Once again we revise the last line in such a way that it sounds almost like a statement, even a theorem: No thing is where the word is lacking. A thing is not until, and is only where, the word is not lacking but is there. But if the word is, then it must itself also be a thing, because "thing" here means whatever is in some way: "Wonder or dream from distant land." Or could it be that when the word speaks, quo word it is not a thing—in no way like what is? Is the word a nothing? But then how is it supposed to help the thing to be? Whatever bestows being, must it not "be" itself, all the more and before all else, be most in being, more so than all the thins that are? We cannot see it any other way as long as we calculate, that is, compute the sufficient reason which rationalizes beings as the result of reason, reason's effects, and thereby satisfies our conceptualizations. Accordingly, if the word is to endow the thing with being, it too must be before any thing is—thus it must inescapably be itself a thing. We would then be faced with the situation that one thing, the word, conveys being to another thing. But, says the poet, "Where word breaks off no thing may be." Word and thing are different, even disparate. We suppose that we have understood the poet on first hearing: but no sooner have we so to speak touched the line thoughtfully than what it says fades away into darkness. The word, which itself is supposed not to be a thing, not anything that "is," escapes us. It seems as though what is happening here is just like what happens with the prize in the poem. Does the poet perhaps mean that the "prize so rich and frail" is the word itself? In that case Stefan George, sensing with a poet's intuition that the word itself could not be a thing, would have asked the norn to give the word for the prize, for the word itself. But the goddess of fate tells him, "No like of this these depths enfold."
The word for the word can never be found in that place where fate provides the language that names and so endows all beings, so that they may be, radiant and flourishing in their