The limit of words

Every word has been said before.  If the word itself has not fallen from lips, it will only be to replace other words.  Look in a dictionary and show me the word that is not the word for other words.  Poetry is the art of taking words and phrases that have been said a million times before and painting a picture that has never been seen.

Perhaps this sentence has never been written before, but even if it has it means something different in your mind now. Perhaps this sentence has never been written before, but even if it has it means something different in your mind now.  Certainly repeating the same sentence twice is wholly different than once, but how long can it go on that repeating the same words shapes or polishes meaning.  How many times can I type the following sentence before it stops mattering how long it goes on or how wild my hair is?

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Certainly after about 300 pages, the words themselves would begin to lose meaning, but the repetition would mean the same thing.  There is a difference between finding a paragraph, a 300 page manuscript and a library of books that all repeat the same sentence.

I write this because I feel like there are more people who appreciate my poetry than my ramblings, but both are things I need to do.  Sometimes I paint.  Sometimes I sculpt.  I cannot produce colored sculpture.  I can construct a certain flow in the sentences I write, like that invisible comma after the word flow, but I lose it in the poetry.  My poetry is a hodge-podge of styles.  I like to think of it as abstract impressionistic cubism.

In many ways I feel like the beauty of language is in its limitations.  There is no way for me to take the idea out of my head and give it to you.  I am forced to choose words that will hopefully draw the same connections in your mind.  I believe most poems are about love and success and failure, because those are the 3 words that are the most limiting.  We challenge them to mean everything all at once, and always they fail, as they must.  A poet sees them as simply shades of humanity.

love

If I put the word love on its own line, with no prefix or suffix, introduction or conclusion, you have a color.  You have no reference for it, so it doesn’t matter what the shape is.

love love

Twice on the same line and shapes must form, probably squares or circles or just wild slashes of color.

love love
love love
love love
love love

A little more creative repetition and hopefully you see a heart monitor and hear a heartbeat.  Just a little more color here and there and you have a picture.

There is a magic to it all.  That magic, like everything else in this world is defined by its limits and extents.  It is hard to force the magic.  It is hard to see the artwork that lets the world see your world for a moment.  I started posting old poetry and it seems to be getting more views than I thought(as few as that is) and it makes me feel like I have writers block.  It is however pretty awesome, because I feel like sharing more parts of my worlds with others will be helpful to me and them.

I hereby pledge to try and see more of my worlds and share them.

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