before. He sings songs. The very first song he sings, and which remains untitled, sings nothing less than the intuited secret of the word, which in denying itself brings near to us its withheld nature. This song sings the word's secret wonderingly, that is, poetically inquiring, in three stanzas of three lines each:
What bold-easy step Walks through the innermost realm Of grandame's fairy tale garden? What rousing call does the bugler's Silver born cast in the tangle Of the Saga's deep slumber? What secret breath of yesterday's melancholy Seeps into the soul?
Stefan George normally writes all words with small initials, except only those at the beginning of a line.* We notice that in this poem, one single word appears with a capital initial—the word in the last line of the middle stanza: the Saga—Saying. The poet might have called the poem "Saying." He did not do so. The poem sings of the mysterious nearness of the far-tarrying power of the word. Something entirely different is said in the poem in a completely different manner, and yet the Same is said as has been thought earlier concerning the relation of "is" and the word that is no thing.
What about the neighborhood of poetry and thinking? We stand confused between two wholly different kinds of saying. In the poet's song, the word appears as the mysterious wonder. Our thinking reflection of the relation between the "is" and the word that is no thing is faced with something memorable whose features fade into indefiniteness. In the song, wonder appears in a fulfilled, singing saying: in our reflection something memorable appears in a scarcely definable—but certainly not a singing—saying. How can this be a neighborhood, under which poetry and thinking live in close nearness? It
* In standard German usage, all nouns are capitalized. (Tr.)