would seem that the two diverge just as far as can be.

But we should become familiar with the suggestion that the neighborhood of poetry and thinking is concealed within this farthest divergence of their Saying. This divergence is their real face-to-face encounter.

We must discard the view that the neighborhood of poetry and thinking is nothing more than a garrulous cloudy mixture of two kinds of saying in which each makes clumsy borrowings from the other. Here and there it may seem that way. But in truth, poetry and thinking are in virtue of their nature held apart by a delicate yet luminous difference, each held in its own darkness: two parallels, in Greek para allelo, by one another, against one another, transcending, surpassing one another each in its fashion. Poetry and thinking are not separated if separation is to mean cut off into a relational void. The parallels intersect in the infinite. There they intersect with a section that they themselves do not make. By this section, they are first cut, engraved into the design of their neighboring nature. That cut assigns poetry and thinking to their nearness to one another. The neighborhood of poetry and thinking is not the result of a process by which poetry and thinking—no one knows from where—first draw near to each other and thus establish a nearness, a neighborhood. The nearness that draws them near is itself the occurrence of appropriation by which poetry and thinking are directed into their proper nature.

But if the nearness of poetry and thinking is one of Saying, then our thinking arrives at the assumption that the occurrence of appropriation acts as that Saying in which language grants its essential nature to us. Its vow is not empty. It has in fact already struck its target—whom else but man? For man is man only because he is granted the promise of language, because he is needful to language, that he may speak it.


These three lectures are devoted to an attempt to bring us face to face with a possibility of undergoing an experience