LANGUAGE IN THE POEM

A Discussion on Georg Trakl's Poetic Work



We use the word "discuss" here to mean, first, to point out the proper place or site of something, to situate it, and second, to heed that place or site. The placing and the heeding are both preliminaries of discussion. And yet it will require all our daring to take no more than these preliminary steps in what follows. Our discussion, as befits a thinking way, ends in a question. That question asks for the location of the site.

Our discussion speaks of Georg Trakl only in that it thinks about the site of his poetic work. To an age whose historical, biographical, psychoanalytical, and sociological interest is focused on bare expression, such a procedure must seem patently one-sided, if not wayward. Discussion gives thought to the site.

Originally the word "site" suggests a place in which everything comes together, is concentrated. The site gathers unto itself, supremely and in the extreme. Its gathering power penetrates and pervades everything. The site, the gathering power,

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Martin Heidegger (GA 12) On the Way to Language