Monday, June 14, 2010


by Gideon Burton

Each letter has a shape, each shape a sound,
and every sound resounds on lips and tongue.
We taste the language smoothly, form it round.
We crave it, feel it, from the time we're young
enough to know the rhythmed consonants
as toys to play with, not as means of thought.
(Abstraction slackens, verbed in violence.)
We all pretend the sounds mean what they ought--
these breathy signs, these squiggles spilled in ink
are records of agreements old and new.
Within our minds they channel what we think,
but fail to reach beyond to what is true.
       They are but other bodies, formed to die,
       but leave us less than speechless as they fly.

Feel free to copy, imitate, remix, or redistribute this poem as long as you give proper acknowledgment of authorship. Photo: flickr - Marco PelĂ 

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