A marvelous metaphor to describe poetry and its relationship to speaking; I like this notion of realising that speaking is being on the road, and of a word turning out to be longer than we thought.

What distinguishes poetry from automatic speech is that it rouses us and shakes us awake in the middle of a word.  Then the word turns out to be far longer than we thought, and we remember that to speak means to be forever on the road. 

See also our celebration of Mandelstam’s Journey to Armenia including a rich mosaic of illustrated quotations.

Source: ‘Conversation about Dante’, in Journey to Armenia & Conversation about Dante (London: Notting Hill Editions, 2011), pp. 118

Photo credit: Illiya Vjestica at unsplash


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