Pondering, framing, loving is Saying: a quiet, exuberant bow, a jubilant homage, a eulogy, a praise: laudare. Laudes is the Latin name for songs. To recite song is: to sing. Singing is the gathering of Saying in song. If we fail to understand the lofty meaning of song as Saying, it becomes the retroactive setting to music of what is spoken and written.

With Song, with the last poems collected under this title, the poet definitively leaves the sphere that earlier was his own. Where docs he go? To renunciation, which he has learned. This learning was a sudden experience which he bad in that instant when the wholly different rule of the word looked at him and disturbed the self-assurance of his earlier Saying. Something undreamed of, something terrifying stared him in the face—that only the word lets a thing be as thing.

From that moment on, the poet must answer to this mystery of the word—the mystery of which he has barely an inkling, and which he can only surmise in his pondering. He can succeed only when the poetic word resounds in the tone of the song. We can hear this tone with particular clarity in one of the songs which, without a title, is published for the first time in the last part of the last book of poems (Das Neue Reich, p. 117)·

In the stillest peace
or a musing day
Suddenly breaks a sight which
With undreamed terror
Troubles the secure soul

As when on the heights
The solid stem
Towers motionless in pride
And then late a storm
Bends it to the ground:

As when the sea
With shrill scream
With wild crash
Once again thrusts
Into the long-abandoned shell.

Martin Heidegger (GA 12) Words