Velocities of Change (A Poetic Essay)

And so as art, all art, we change with the age
And thus each age increases its own frame
Our words express such change as movement
Accelerates our meaning which is different
From what we meant before, from that
Different age, and different hair or clothing
Speaking for us, no words needed, we show
Such meaning with this vulgar elucidation.
What we see now seems alien, though we, as
Macksey says, carry it with us ⸻our own
Conceptual baggage⸻ though we be
Philosopher or poet, painter or scribe.
To gain greater understanding one may not
Want to dwell too rigidly on what a word means,
But in what the meaning so intended by the user
Of the word. Such freedom seems extended
To release both poetry and prose from the
Mooring of tradition, of expectation and allows
The words, all words, to fly where ever they will

It is the ethnologist and the psychoanalyist who begin again the old quests for a pristine language. The old passionate search of the poet for a Word adequate to its Truth has become nowadays in the works of Barthes, Levi-Strauss or Lucan that of a critical idiom adequate to its subject. In this resides perhaps the revenge of language on those who tried to steal its secrets.
-Eugenio Donato

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