the language of being, In this phrase being, "essence" assumes the role of the subject that possesses language. However, the word "being" now no longer means what something is. We hear "being" as a verb, as in "being present" and "being absent." "To be" means to perdure and persist. But this says more than just "last and abide." "It is in being" means "it persists in its presence," and in its persistence concerns and moves us. Such being, so conceived, names what persists, what concerns us in all things, because it moves and makes a way for all things. Therefore, the second phrase in the guide-word, "the language of being," says this, that language belongs to this persisting being, is proper to what moves all things because that is its most distinctive property. What moves all things moves in that it speaks. But it remains quite obscure just how we are to think of essential being, wholly obscure how it speaks, and supremely obscure, therefore, what to speak means. This is the crux of our reflection on the nature of language. Yet this reflection is already underway along a certain way—the way within the neighborhood of poetry and thinking. The guide-word gives us a hint on this way, but not an answer. But that hint—where does it point? It points only to what defines the neighborhood of poetry and thinking as a neighborhood. Neighborliness, dwelling in nearness, receives its definition from nearness. Poetry and thinking, however, are modes of saying, indeed preeminent modes. If these two modes of saying are to be neighborly in virtue of their nearness, then nearness itself must act in the manner of Saying. Then nearness and Saying would be the Same. The demand to think this is still a flagrant imposition. Its flagrancy must not be softened in the least.

If we were to succeed for once in reaching the place to which the guide-word beckons us, we would arrive where we have a possibility of undergoing an experience with language, the language known to us. Thus, much depends on our keeping to the direction of that indication which the clarified guide-word gives us—this guide-word which we can now paraphrase as follows: what concerns us as language receives its definition from Saying as that which moves all things. A hint beckons