On Poetry?

Poetry remembers that language is shaped air; it remembers ashes to ashes, dust to dust, wind to wind; it knows we don’t own what we know.It knows the world is, after all, unnameable, so it listens hard before it speaks, and wraps that listening into the linguistic act. ~ Don McKay


I came across this lovely evocation in Robert Bringhurst’s book “Everywhere Being is Dancing”. I find something completely profound in this little snippet…Bringhurst goes on to write about it for several hundred more pages, bringing in other themes and uniting the whole in quite a staggering way. Meanwhile, I remain immersed in the idea of wrapping listening into language…

And here is the Chinese character for listening: on the left, the sign for ears, while on the right, from top to bottom, the signs for eyes, full attention, and heart. What a beautiful visual metaphor for the engagement of listening.

And that is what I have been doing, my imaginary friend, listening to the sounds of the world and pondering the ineffable beauties of poetry.

7 comments on “On Poetry?

  1. wow! thats how one should listen. with whole being.


    • I find the Chinese character so beautiful! As I write this, I am thinking about how I slow down and pay more attention when I read poetry. No wonder poetry can soothe the savage in me. Good day, Sharmishtha Basu, and thank you for visiting 🙂


      • i feel the same soothing effect through songs/music. no matter how turbulent my mind is i can soothe it through songs/music.

        visiting you is my pleasure.

        that challenge was interesting was not it? I am reposting those poems to save a little fresh writing energy.


  2. I love this! Love that you included the Chinese character – fascinating!


  3. Subhan Zein says:

    Where’s the like button? I need five of them! 🙂

    Subhan Zein


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