animal, animal rationale, man-is, as Nietzsche said, not yet determined.

This statement does not mean at all that man has not yet been "confirmed" as a factum. On the contrary, he is all too firmly confirmed as a factum. The word means: this animal's animality has not yet been gathered up onto firm ground, that is to say, has not been gathered "home," into its own, the home of its veiled being. This definition is what Western-European metaphysics has been struggling to achieve ever since Plato. It may be struggling in vain. It may be that its way into the "underway" is still blocked. This animal not yet determined in its nature is modem man.

By the poetic name "blue wild game" Trakl evokes that human nature whose countenance, whose countering glance, is sighted by the night's blueness, as it is thinking of the stranger's footfalls and thus is illumined by the holy. The name "blue game" names mortals who would think of the stranger and wander with him to the native home of human being.

Who are they that begin such a journey? Presumably they are few, and unknown, since what is of the essence comes to pass in quiet, and suddenly, and rarely. The poet speaks of such wanderers in the second stanza of his poem "Winter Evening" (120) which begins:

Many a man in his wanderings
Comes to the gate by darksome paths.

The blue game, where and when it is in being, has left the previous form of man's nature behind. Previous man decays in that he loses his being, which is to say, decays.

Trakl calls one of his poems "Seven-Song of Death." Seven is the holy number. The song sings of the holiness of death. Death is not understood here vaguely, broadly, as the conclusion of earthly life. "Death" here means poetically the "going down" to which "something strange" is being called. This is why the "something strange" that is being called is also referred to as "something dead" (134). Its death is not decay, but that