There is a great essay by Adam Kirsch in the latest poetry magazine about Heidegger's conception of language and poetry.
Only poetry in this larger sense—only the art of language—makes possible a full understanding of an artwork's "world." Language, the distinctively human possession, is what allows "stone, plant, and animal" to be fully perceived, in a way that they can't perceive themselves. "Where there is no language . . . there is also no openness of what is," Heidegger writes. "Language, by naming beings for the first time, first brings beings to word and to appearance." Only by talking and writing about something can we really understand what it is and what it means.
I am obviously not well-read enough, but it seems to me to be an extreme position - the idea that language is central to any conception of consciousness i.e only when you name things that they come into being in your head.
Anybody knows a good introductory book on the subject? Apart from Heidegger or Philosophical Investigations of course?