gentle force of the singular and innocent capacity to hear. A "creative transformation"—the sputnik is that, but it is not a poem. Gottfried Benn, in his own way, has recognized where he himself belongs. He has endured that insight. And this is what gives weight to his poetic work.
When the word is called the mouth's flower and its blossom, we hear the sound of language rising like the earth. From whence? From Saying in which it comes to pass that World is made to appear. The sound rings out in the resounding assembly call which, open to the Open, makes World appear in all things. The sounding of the voice is then no longer only of the order of physical organs. It is released now from the perspective of the physiological-physical explanation in terms of purely phonetic data. The sound of language, its earthyness is held with the harmony that attunes the regions of the world's structure, playing them in chorus. This indication of the sound of speaking and of its source in Saying must at first sound obscure and strange. And yet it points to simple phenomena. We can see them once we pay heed again to the way in which we are everywhere under way within the neighborhood of the modes of Saying. Among these, poetry and thinking have ever been preeminent. Their neighborhood did not come to them by chance, from somewhere or other, as though they, by themselves, could be what they are even away from their neighborhood. This is why we must experience them within, and in terms of, their neighborhood, that is, in terms of what determines that neighborhood to be a neighborhood. Neighborhood, it was said, does not first create nearness; rather, nearness brings about neighborhood. But what does nearness mean?
As soon as we try to reflect on the matter we have already committed ourselves to a long path of thought. At this point, we shall succeed only in taking just a few steps. They do not lead forward but back, back to where we already are. The steps do not form a sequence from here to there, except—at best—their outward appearance. Rather, they fuse into a concentration upon the selfsame thing, and wend their way back