of poetry and thinking holds an indication which we would follow to come to that nearness by which this neighborhood is defined.

The guide-word runs:

	The being of language:
                The language of being.

The guide-word holds the primal tidings of linguistic nature. We must now try to hear it more clearly, to make it more indicative of the way that lets us reach what even now reaches and touches us.

            The being of language: the language of being.

Two phrases held apart by a colon, each the inversion of the other. If the whole is to be a guide-word, then this colon must indicate that what precedes it opens into what follows it. Within the whole there plays a disclosure and a beckoning that point to something which we, coming from the first turn of phrase, do not suspect in the second; for that second phrase is more than just a rearrangement of the words in the first. If so, then what the words "being" and "language" on either side of the colon say is not only not identical, but even the form of the phrase is different in each case.

An explanation within the scope of grammatical, that is logical and metaphysical, ways of thinking may bring us a little closer to the matter, though it can never do justice to the situation that the guide-word names.

In the phrase before the colon, "the being of language," language is the subject whose being is to be determined. What something is, to ti estin, whatness, comprises since Plato what one commonly calls the "nature" or essentia, the essence of a thing. Essence so understood becomes restricted to what is later called the concept, the idea or mental representation by means of which we propose to ourselves and grasp what a thing is. Understood less strictly, the phrase before the colon then says: we shall comprehend what language is as soon as we enter into what the colon, so to speak, opens up before us. And that is