voice? Is apartness at all and intrinsically related to poetry? Even if such a relation exists, how is apartness to gather poetic saying to itself, to become its site, and to determine it from there?
Is apartness not one single silence of stillness? How can it start a saying and a singing on its way? Yet apartness is not the desolation of the departed dead. In apartness, the stranger measures off the parting from mankind hitherto. He is underway on a path. What sort of a path is it? The poet says it plainly enough, by pointedly setting apart the closing line of the poem "Summer's Decline";
Would that the blue game were to recall his paths,
The music of his ghostly years!
The stranger's path is the "music of his ghostly years." Elis' footfall rings. The ringing footfall radiates through the night. Does its music die away into a void? He who died into earliness—is he departed in the sense of being cut off, or has he been set apart because be is one of the select—gathered up into an assembly that gathers more gently and calls more quietly?
The second and third stanzas of the poem "To One Who Died Young" (129) hint at an answer:
But he yonder descended the stone steps of the Mönchsberg,
A blue smile on his face, and strangely ensheathed
In his stiller childhood, and died;
And the silver face of his friend stayed behind in the garden,
Listening in the leaves or the ancient stones.
Soul sang of death, the green decay of the flesh,
And it was the murmur of the forest,
The fervid lament of the animals.
Always from twilight twilight rang the blue evening bells.
A friend listens after the stranger. In listening, he follows the departed and thus becomes himself a wanderer, a stranger. The friend's soul listens after the dead. The friend's face has