a distinctive, though in each case different, relation to language is proper to them both.

The dialogue of thinking with poetry aims to call forth the nature of language, so that mortals may learn again to live within language.

The dialogue of thinking with poetry is long. It has barely begun. With respect to Trakl's poetic statement, the dialogue requires particular reserve. A thinking dialogue with poetry can serve the poetic statement only indirectly. Thus it is always in danger of interfering with the saying of the statement, instead of allowing it to sing from within its own inner peace.

The discussion of the poetic statement is a thinking dialogue with poetry. It neither expounds a poet's outlook on the world, nor does it take inventory of his workshop. Above all, the discussion of the poetic statement can never be a substitute for or even guide to our listening to the poem. Thinking discussion can at best make our listening thought-provoking and, under the most favorable circumstances, more reflective.

With these reservations in mind, we shall try first to point to the site of the unspoken statement. To do so we must start with the spoken poems. The question still is: with which poems? The fact that everyone of Trakl's poems points, with equal steadiness though not uniformly, to the statement's one site, is evidence of the unique harmony of all his poems in the single key of his statement.

But the attempt we shall now make to point out the site of his statement must make do with just a few selected stanzas, lines, and phrases. Our selection will inevitably seem arbitrary. However, it is prompted by our purpose to bring our consideration at once to the site of the statement, almost as if by a sudden leap of insight.


One of Trakl's poems says:

Something strange is the soul on the earth.

Before we know what we are doing, we find ourselves through this sentence involved in a common notion. That