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Words Burns as Witness for Us[1]

Apt Words have power to ‘Suage the Tumors of a

Troubled Mind, and are as Balm to Festered Wounds[2]

Let us Speak, Let us Speak – Silence does not suit us,

Since we have been Created in the Image of the Word[3]

Words beget Presences impossible to confirm given the Blind action of Time[4]

The Substantial Words are in the Ground and Sea – they are in the Air – they are in You[5]

Say the Word and it Vanishes with the sound, but your Senses, your Memory and Know-

Ledge cast back an Echo – Write it on a piece of paper, and it stays there, Unmoving, but

Your Thoughts and Feelings are already on their way to the Farthest corners of the World[6]

Words are Dark Stars – some Small and Dull and Solid, some Immense, Complex,

Subtle – with a powerful Gravity-Field that attracts Infinite Meanings to them[7]

Crossing the Desolate stretch of Land where the Word Drags us, making

Us – and our Wanderings bear Amazed Witness to its Perennial Nature[8]

He Eats and Drinks the Precious Words – his Spirit grows Robust –

He knows no more that he is Poor nor that his Frame is Dust[9]

Come on Poets – Word it till it’s Yours[10]

[1] Paul Celan tr. Nikolai Popov & Heather McHugh, (I know you: you’re the one who’s bent so low

[2] John Milton, Samson Agonistes

[3] C.P. Cavafy tr. Rae Dalven, The Word and Silence

[4] Li-Young Li, Changing Places in the Fire

[5] Walt Whitman, A Song of the Rolling Earth

[6] Inger Christenson tr. Susanna Nied, Silk, the Universe, Language, the Heart

[7] Ursula K. Le Guin, Paradise Lost

[8] Edmond Jabès tr. Rosemarie Waldrop, The Desert

[9] Emily Dickinson, He Ate and Drank the Precious Words

[10] Rae Armantrout, Flux

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